Dame Kate Campbell Fellow 2023

Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine
Department of Physiotherapy

I joined MDHS in 2020 after working at University of Oxford for 4 years as a Senior Research Associate in orthopaedics, rheumatology and musculoskeletal science. I was awarded an NHMRC Investigator Grant in 2021 to advance my research aiming to reduce the burden of knee injury and post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis.

Management of ACL injury in Australia is not evidenced based and patients are misinformed about management options. Approximately 90% of people undergo ACL reconstructive surgery in Australia despite clinical trials demonstrating that ACL surgery does not improve outcomes compared to rehabilitation alone, and that surgery is not cost effective.

I lead a body of research that discovered that ACL ruptures can heal without surgery (contrary to common belief), and that this may be key to better patient outcomes. We are evaluating a novel non-surgical intervention to facilitate healing of ACL rupture and improve patient outcomes, and pursuing research to understand who is most likely to heal after ACL injury.

We are evaluating current practice for ACL injury management in Australia and developing a patient decision aid to inform patients about ACL injury management options. We are also creating online training courses to educate physiotherapists and the general public about evidence-based ACL injury management.

As many as 50% of people develop knee osteoarthritis within 10 years of ACL injury, and this has a substantial personal and societal cost. We are developing and evaluating strategies to improve quality of life and health outcomes for young adults with knee osteoarthritis after ACL injury.

I am very grateful to be awarded a Dame Kate Campbell Fellowship. Dame Kate Campbell was a Melbourne-based pioneering clinician researcher who achieved substantial impact through her work, which ultimately led to improved health care practices, translating into better health outcomes and quality of life for future generations. She achieved this despite facing gender discrimination in the workplace and challenges that arose from pursuing a male-dominant medical profession. This fellowship provides further support for me to lead research with real world impact, to reduce the personal and societal burden of ACL injury and knee osteoarthritis.

For further information:

Follow research updates on Twitter: @stephfilbay

Key publications: