Stop OsteoARthritis (SOAR).

A program to prevent osteoarthritis after a sport-related knee injury


Study title:

Preventing osteoarthritis after a sport knee injury; Stop OsteoARthritis (SOAR)


Principal Investigator:

Jackie L. Whittaker, PT, PhD: Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia; Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada


Start Date and End Date:

January 1, 2020 – TBD


Why do this research?

Currently, the treatment for athletes who suffer a knee injury focuses on returning them to sport, with little attention paid to their increased risk for osteoarthritis. This research will refine and test a new innovative treatment for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis after a youth sport knee injury, and a plan to assess how well it works in the real-world. In doing so, this research represents a vital step towards the goal of reducing the long-term consequences of sport knee injuries and significantly decreasing the number of Canadians that develop and suffer from the devastating and destructive effects of osteoarthritis.


What will be done?

In our first study we will solicit feedback from former and currently injured athletes about the SOAR program. Using this feedback, we will refine SOAR. Secondly, we will conduct a study to determine if the SOAR program can improve a young athletes’ capacity to manage knee OA risk and reduce two important risk factors for knee osteoarthritis, muscle weakness and inactivity in an ideal research setting. Finally, we will conduct a larger multi-site study to assess to assess if SOAR works in real-world settings.


Who is involved? 

This research is done under the guidance of patient collaborators including two patient leads as well as 5 health and methodological scientists at ARC, UBC, SFU, the University of Alberta, and the University of Southern Denmark. For our first study we aim to recruit 20 people (10 current and 10 former youth athletes) aged 16-50 years who have suffered a sport-related intra-articular knee injury. Although SOAR targets youth athletes (16-30 years), former youth athletes (30-50 years) will be included at this stage to gain the perspective of their additional lived experience through injury, recovery, and OA. For our second study we will recruit 40 young women and men (16-30 years) not currently attending regular rehabilitation who are ‘struggling’ (still experiencing pain, symptoms and who are not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines) to recover 9-24 months after a sport-related intra-articular knee injury. The number of participants in the third multi-site study will be informed by the second study.


Who is funding this research? 

Dr. Whittaker and her team are currently seeking funding from a variety of sources.


Who is on the research team?


Michael Hunt, PT PhD, Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia

Ewa Roos, PT, PhD, Professor Head of the Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy, University of Southern Denmark

Hui Xie, PhD, Professor, Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Amber Mosewich, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation, University of Alberta

Trish Silvester-Lee, ARC Arthritis Patient Advisory Board member




Andrea Pajkic, Patient partner and BScKin student, University of Alberta

Maxi Miciak PT, PhD, Patient partner and Research Associate, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine University of Alberta

Chris Napier PT, PhD, Clinician partner, Director and Physiotherapist Restore Physiotherapy

Melissa Idle PT, Director and Physiotherapist UBC Physical Therapy Student and Research Clinic

Alison Hoens, PT, KB, BC Support Unit


How do people get involved? 

If you are interested please check back here or follow Dr. Whittaker on Twitter: @jwhittak_physio

Further information anticipated for January 2020.