NFLPS Members Named Recipients Of The 2014 O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award

Jul 14, 2014

NFLPS Members Named Recipients of the
O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award

Several members of the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS) were awarded the 2014 O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in July.  The prestigious award is given annually to the best overall paper that deals with clinical based research or human in-vivo research. This year’s winning research, led by St. Louis Rams team physician, Rick W. Wright, MD, was entitled: “Revision Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Graft Choice Impact on Outcome in the Multi-Center ACL Revision (MARS) Cohort.”

The study, which analyzed the impact of using a patient’s own autograft tissue versus a cadaver graft for ACL replacement, demonstrated better patient reported outcomes and a decreased retear rate if a patient’s own tissue was utilized.

Dr. Wright, the principal investigator of the study stated: “I congratulate all of my colleagues whose work has led to critical and groundbreaking research in sports medicine.  It is a great honor to have led the winning team for the O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award. I am proud to have worked with such a talented and dedicated group and I am humbled to have this sort of recognition from our peers.”

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Washington University in St. Louis, MO was the coordinating center. The study included a research group of 83 surgeons at 52 sites that enrolled 1,205 revision ACL patients. Seven NFLPS members of the research group included: Matthew J. Matava, MD, President of the NFLPS and Head Team Physician for the St. Louis Rams; Christopher C. Annunziata, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Washington Redskins; Robert H. Brophy, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon for the St. Louis Rams;Daniel E. Cooper, MD, Head Team Physician for the Dallas Cowboys; Thomas E. Klootwyk, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Indianapolis Colts and Arthur C. Rettig, MD, Head Team Physician for the Indianapolis Colts.

Others on the team included: Laura J. Huston, MS, Vanderbilt University; Amanda K. Haas, MA, Washington University; Kurt P. Spindler, MD, Vanderbilt University; and Sam K. Nwosu, MS, Vanderbilt University on behalf of MARS Group

The O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award was named after Don H. O’Donoghue, MDwho is known as the Father of Sports Medicine in the United States. His early work on knee injuries led to the development of the subspecialty and started the interest in the care of athletes. The awardee is selected by the AOSSM Awards Subcommittee with recipients receiving $2,000.

AOSSM annually provides more than $350,000 to research initiatives and projects around the country.

To read the abstract for the paper please visit:


About the NFLPS: The NFL Physicians Society, an organization made up of over 150 team doctors from each of the 32 NFL teams, was founded in 1966. Its mission is to provide excellence in the medical and surgical care of the athletes in the NFL and to provide direction and support for the athletic trainers in charge of the care for these athletes. To learn more, go to

Contact: Amy Weiss, for the NFLPS.