Ohio State Researchers

The Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI) facilitates research from many disciplines at The Ohio State University to enhance physical activity across the lifespan.

SMRI provides infrastructure support for our research teams, standard operating procedures, educational programs and funding opportunities. View membership criteria and benefits

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When you participate in a research study, you become a vital part of a team working to change the future of health care and improve lives.

The Ohio State Sports Medicine Research Institute is comprised of faculty from Orthopaedics, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Physical Therapy and colleagues in the College of Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Biomedical Informatics, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. We collaborate extensively on research that is fully integrated with our clinical operations, leverages our partnership with the Ohio State Department of Athletics and is of benefit to the university.

If you have an interest in or question regarding our research projects, please contact SportsMedResearch@osumc.edu.

Our Current Studies


ACL Tear

Assessing ACL graft viability

The use of allograft tissue in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction has been associated with increased failure rates, the cause of which is unclear and likely multifactorial; it is believed that different patterns of revascularization and ligamentization may contribute. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans have the capacity to demonstrate revascularization as well as metabolic activity of tissues. Chemical exchange saturation transfer (proteinCEST) imaging can also assess the intra-articular environment. This study is being done to explore this new method of imaging.

Evaluating ACL reconstruction success factors

This multi-year study gathers data on the knee before, during and after ACL reconstruction in order to determine what factors may help or hinder the success of an ACL reconstruction. If you have been diagnosed with an ACL tear and are planning on having an ACL reconstruction, you may be eligible to participate.

Stimulation of quad muscles after ACL surgery

Quadriceps (thigh) weakness is common following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction. This decrease in volume and strength of the quad muscles can cause athletes to get more injuries, have asymmetry in strength, or not get cleared for return to sport. This prospective cohort testing of DJO eStim devices: Compex Rehab(R) and Compex Wireless® study is testing the effectiveness of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in restoring strength, function and movement patterns of the quadriceps muscles after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Identifying athletes at risk for ACL injury

Athletes who participate in pivoting, cutting, and jumping sports have a greater chance of suffering an ACL injury compared to most other athletes. The purpose of this study is to develop new, low-cost strategies for identifying athletes at risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Healthy participants will undergo 3D motion analysis using skin-mounted muscle activity monitoring known as electromyography (EMG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the knee and leg. By creating a computer model of participant's knees, we will be able to more accurately describe the effect of the way the participant moves during athletic tasks on their risk of injury. 

The Modeling Study: ACL Injury Risk in Active Individuals 14-35 

Knee Cartilage

Outcomes of cartilage injuries

Injury to the cartilage in the knee, called focal chondral defects, may impact function, muscle strength and the way you move. The outcomes of individuals with focal chondral defects are unknown. Findings from this study will provide information regarding the function, muscle strength, movement and muscle activation patterns, and potential for progressive damage on the cartilage of individuals with focal chondral defects in the knee.

Novocart Implant

Novocart® 3D is a cellular implant system where small amount of knee cartilage is removed in a an initial surgery, cleaned and "grown" on a 3-dimensional sponge-like scaffold and then implanted into the damaged area in a second surgery approximately 3 weeks later. This Phase 3 prospective, randomized, partially blinded multi-center study measures the safety and efficacy of Novocart compared to the current Microfracture standard of care.


This is a prospective, randomized trial designed to compare two treatments for articular cartilage defect legions: microfracture and Hyalofast® scaffold. Hyalofast is made from a synthetic form of a substance called hyaluronic acid that is found naturally in the knee joint and other places throughout the body. It is combined with autologous bone marrow aspirate concentrate and surgically implanted into the cartilage defect. It is believed that the bone marrow cells eventually will grow into new cartilage and fill the defect while the Hyalofast® eventually dissolves away with time.


NUsurface® Meniscus Implant

The NUsurface Meniscus Implant is a Polycarbonate-Urethane (PCU)-based device reinforced with high tensile Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers as a treatment alternative for patients with persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery. This multi-center, prospective, randomized, interventional clinical study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the NUsurface device compared to the standard of care for patients whose medial meniscus may have had tears or degeneration requiring medical or surgical treatment.

Knee Study Seeking Those With Previous Partial Medial Meniscectomy



Zimmer nStride

This clinical trial evaluates the safety and clinical effectiveness of autologous protein solution (APS), prepared from a small sample of your own blood (usually taken from a vein in your arm) with an investigational device called the nSTRIDE APS Kit, on pain and function associated with knee osteoarthritis. In this randomized blinded trial, the injection of patient's own blood and growth factors will be compared to a saline injection.

Knee General

Dry Needling for "Runner's Knee"

This study is testing the effectiveness of "dry needling" for pain management and on muscle strength and leg function for those with knee pain. Dry needling consists of small, monofilament needles that are administered directly into the tissue and manipulated to make the muscle relax for pain relief. This technique is used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle and connective tissue to help diminish pain, reduce impairments of body structure and restore function.

Subchondroplastyâ„¢ for Bone Marrow Lesions

This observational cohort follow-up study seeks to understand the post-operative outcomes of subjects choosing to undergo the Subchondroplasty™ (SCP™) procedure (a minimally invasive procedure to treats bone defects in the knee associated with bone marrow lesions (BMLs)).

Joint Health Assessment Study

Degenerative disease of the knee joint is an increasingly common condition. Cases of advanced joint degeneration lead to significant disability and often require invasive, expensive treatments. This study evaluates normal and injured knees of patients in different age groups and sexes to determine the value of certain pictures taken by a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) machine.

First Time Patellar Dislocation

Patellar dislocations are debilitating injuries that frequently affect young, active patients. In spite of the relatively high incidence of this condition, significant controversy remains regarding the ideal treatment protocol. This study evaluates patients following their treatment for patellar dislocation to help in future treatments for those with the same condition.

Knee Joint Bracing and Neuromuscular Training

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ability of neuromuscular training and knee braces to reduce the risk of suffering a knee injury. Neuromuscular training typically involves controlled movement tasks such as side-stepping, jumping, and plyometrics under the supervision of a trained clinical specialist. Knee braces may also have the potential to help ‘train’ the knee by providing feedback to an athlete when their knee is moving in a way that could cause it to get injured.


Outcomes of surgical treatments for shoulder instability

The purpose of this research study is to obtain long-term follow-up information on people with shoulder instability. The data from all Ohio State patients undergoing operative treatment will be combined with the data from all other sites and housed at the coordinating site (University of Iowa). This database will be statistically analyzed to learn about how people do after surgical treatment for shoulder instability including return to activities, pain and additional treatment or surgery.

Shoulder Instability Surgery Outcome Study


Hip Treatment Outcomes

This research project follows individuals receiving treatments for common and painful hip conditions over the course of several years to determine which factors predict both short- and long-term functional outcomes. This information will be used to optimize the care of patients who are treated surgically as well as non-surgical interventions such as medications, injections and physical therapy.

Database for Hip Treatment Patients

Other Trials

Use of Screenings and Injury Tracking to Promote Wellness in Dancers

This study will investigate trends and correlations between dancer screening test results, medical history and injury occurrence to impact future clinical practice.

Preoperative Psychometric Screening

Differences in psychological and behavioral responses to pain are some of the most well studied factors that may contribute to a lack of return to sport. The purpose of this study is to determine whether pre-operative psychological screening can determine future risk of an unsatisfactory outcome after sports-related knee surgery, providing risk estimation data that may allow surgeons to more appropriately recommend operative vs. conservative treatment.

The Walking Study: Mediators of Exercise Driven Musculoskeletal Health

Physical inactivity is a major cause for the onset and progression of bone and muscle disorders/diseases, suggesting that the human body regulates bone and muscle health together as one. Research has shown that exercise can help to prevent bone loss and strengthen bones and muscles, yet exercise is not extensively used as a therapy. In this study, we are hoping to uncover how exercise regulates bone and muscle health. Using this information, we might then be able to measure how exercise is increasing health or how to best use exercise in specific ways as therapy to increase health.

The Walking Study: Mediators of Exercise Driven Musculoskeletal Health

Imaging Quality and Anatomical Variability in Standard of Care

Imaging pictures from patients undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the joint will have the option of extra Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) imaging sequences. The data will be reviewed for the purposes of image quality and assessing feasibility of musculoskeletal imaging.

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