JOR Early Career Award

Dr. Killian will receive the JOR Early Career Award from the Journal of Orthopaedic Research for our recent paper on the development and validation of an in vivo model of hip instability at the Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting in February, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

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Hip instability leads to cartilage damage, especially following severe instability.

This award highlights the work of an early-career researcher to enhance the awardee’s professional profile. A grant award is presented to a single recipient at the ORS Annual Meeting, selected by the Editors from eligible papers accepted by the Journal of Orthopaedic Research in the prior calendar year.

Acetabular dysplasia is a common, multi-etiological, pre-osteoarthritic (OA) feature that can lead to pain and instability of the young adult hip. Despite the clinical significance of acetabular dysplasia, there is a paucity of small animal models to investigate structural and functional changes that mediate morphology of the dysplastic hip and drive the subsequent OA cascade. Utilizing a novel in vivo model developed in our laboratory, this study investigated the role of surgically induced unilateral instability of the postnatal hip on the initiation and progression of acetabular dysplasia and impingement up to 8-weeks post-injury. Joint shape, acetabular coverage, histomorphology, and statistical shape modelling were used to assess the quality of the hip following 8 weeks of destabilization. Acetabular coverage was reduced following severe, but not moderate, instability. Moderate instability induced lateralization of the femur without dislocation, whereas severe instability led to complete dislocation and pseudoacetabulae formation. Mild instability did not result in morphological changes to the hip. Removal of the femoral head led to reduced hip joint space volume. These data support the notion that hip instability, driven by mechanical loss-of-function of soft connective tissue, can induce morphometric changes in the growing hip. This work developed a new in vivo model to study hip health in the murine adolescent hip and is a useful tool for investigating the mechanical and structural adaptations to hip instability during growth.


Co-authors on this manuscript include current LIMBR PhD student, Ryan Locke; former WUSTL medical student, Michael James; and former University of Utah PhD student, Penny Atkins. This work was in collaboration with Dr. John Clohisy, an orthopaedic surgeon at Washington University School of Medicine, who is an expert in degeneration conditions of the hip and early arthritic hip disorders, including impingement, and Dr. Andrew Anderson, an Associate Professor at the University of Utah and expert in imaging, motion analysis, and computational modeling, focused on patients with femoroacetabular impingement and hip dysplasia.