KOC Physicians Contribute to Advances in Knee & Shoulder Care Through MOON/MARS Projects

KOC Physicians Contribute to Advances in Knee & Shoulder Care Through MOON/MARS Projects

Jun 05, 2015

KOC has a longstanding tradition of keeping pace with and contributing to orthopaedic progress, and we are honored to have Edwin Spencer, M.D., G. Brian Holloway, M.D. and Gregory M. Mathien, M.D., represent that tradition and standard in their research in conjunction with MOON (Multi-center Orthopaedic Outcomes Network) and MARS (Multi-center ACL Revision Study).

What is MOON?

MOON, commonly referred to as the MOON Project, is a national orthopaedic research consortium coordinated at Vanderbilt Sports Medicine. Established in 2001, this NIH-funded group consists of 18 sports medicine physicians across seven sites, whose focus is to research patient outcomes following ACL reconstruction. MOON expanded its knee research to include the study of rotator cuff disease in 2004, known as the complimentary MOON Shoulder Group.

MOON Shoulder Group

The MOON Shoulder Group (Multi-center Orthopaedic Outcomes Network) started in 2004 with just 5 physicians and is now made up of 16 physicians across eight sites, whose goal is to advance the understanding and treatment of rotator cuff disease and injury, including identifying causes and risk factors. By studying patients undergoing treatment, and their outcomes, the MOON Shoulder Group is able to identify successful care methods and offer valuable treatment insight to physicians across the country.

Drs. Edwin Spencer and G. Brian Holloway were presented the Charles S. Neer Award twice for their research on rotator cuff disease in conjunction with the MOON Group. This national, prestigious award is given annually for the best shoulder research performed that year.

“As KOC physicians, we’re dedicated to advancing medicine at a local and national level. Working with the MOON and MARS Projects gives us the unique opportunity to contribute to the progression of patient-oriented shoulder and knee care,” says Dr. Spencer. “Understanding why these common issues affect the knee and shoulder and what aspects of surgical treatment yield poor or beneficial results is crucial in developing more effective solutions.”

What is MARS?

MARS, or Multi-center ACL Revision Study, focuses on research regarding ACL revision outcomes in patients. For several years, Dr. Mathien’s research with the MARS Group, a collective of surgeons from around the country, has been dedicated to identifying how to improve outcomes for patients who undergo revision anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Historically, ACL reconstruction in the revision setting is known for less successful patient outcomes. Comprised of 52 consortium sites, the MARS group studies eligible patients undergoing revision ACL reconstruction by participating MARS surgeons at the two-year, six-year and 10-year mark after surgery.

“Our goal with the MARS study is to critically assess surgical methods and produce better results for patients. The findings we’ve come across in our research are allowing us to raise the caliber of care for ACL reconstruction patients and set a standard for more successful outcomes in the future,” says Dr. Mathien.

Since receiving the O’Donoghue Award for best overall paper for the MARS study last July, three additional papers Dr. Mathien contributed to as a part of the MARS Group have been published in The American Journal for Sports Medicine.

Impact of MOON Shoulder Group/MARS

The MOON/MARS projects are unique in that they involve the combination of academic and private practice sites, such as KOC, participating in research to identify ways to improve patient outcomes by measuring short and long-term prognosis of knee and shoulder injuries.  

By tracking patients’ functionality post surgery, they are able to pinpoint predictors for inferior outcomes and make appropriate modifications to improve patients’ results. 


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