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Effects of a platelet gel on early graft revascularization after ACL reconstruction

Located in Austin, Texas, Dr. Kelly Cunningham is constantly expanding his knowledge of the latest technology and research. Below is an overview of graft healing after an anterior cruciate ligament. 



Slow graft healing in bone tunnels and a slow graft ligamentization process after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction are some of the reasons for prolonged rehabilitation.


The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of platelet gel (PG) accelerates early graft revascularization after ACL reconstruction.


PG was produced from autologous platelet-rich plasma and applied locally. We quantitatively evaluated the revascularization process in the osteoligamentous interface zone in the bone tunnels and in the intra-articular part of the graft by means of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


After 4-6 weeks, the PG-treated group demonstrated a significantly higher level of vascularization in the osteoligamentous interface (0.33 ± 0.09) than the control group (0.16 ± 0.09, p < 0.001). In the intra-articular part of the graft, we found no evidence of revascularization in either group.


Locally applied PG enhanced early revascularization of the graft in the osteoligamentous interface zone after ACL reconstruction.

Dr. Kelly Cunningham

Austin Ortho + Biologics

Sports can be rough on joints and cartilage, especially shoulders, knees, and hips. Kelly Cunningham, MD, has cared for many young and mature athletes whose joints take a beating day in and day out. He welcomes patients from Austin, Texas, and its surrounding communities to experience the cutting-edge technology and skill offered by his team at Austin Ortho + Biologics.

Dr. Cunningham works with each athlete to develop an individual treatment plan that emphasizes the least invasive treatments possible with a goal of minimal recuperation and downtime. He combines rigorous standards and quality of care with experience and insight, integrating the best new techniques into the care of each patient.

His patients have included skilled athletes in football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, including members of the Dallas Cowboys at their Austin training camp, Austin Ice Bats hockey players, Southwestern University athletes, and many other college and high school athletes. He served for 15 years as a traveling team physician for the men’s alpine downhill US Olympic Ski Team, providing on-the-hill medical race coverage in North America and Europe, including qualifying races for the Winter Olympics.

As a sports medicine specialist, Dr. Cunningham also treats many seasoned weekend warriors such as runners, skiers (downhill, snowboard, and water), and tennis and golf enthusiasts.

After medical school and residency training in Dallas, he completed a sports medicine/knee fellowship with renowned orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado, and underwent further shoulder training in England and Canada.

While with Dr. Steadman, the originator of the popular microfracture cartilage treatment technique, he developed a strong interest in the care of cartilage injuries and now has more than 20 years of experience with surgical microfracture and related procedures. In recent years, he has closely monitored cutting-edge techniques as they’re developed for use in these acute and chronic problems.

Dr. Kelly Cunningham Physician

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