PHILADELPHIA — James L. Carey, MD, MPH, director of the Penn Center for Advanced Cartilage Repair and Osteochondritis Dissecans Treatment, is among this year’s recipients of one of the nation’s most prestigious orthopaedic research awards. Dr. Carey and colleagues were presented the 2013 Charles S. Neer Clinical Science Award for a study they conducted on predictors of success in non-operative treatment of rotator cuff tears. The award honors Charles S. Neer II, MD, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and is given annually for the best shoulder research performed that year.

The new study is a follow-up to an initiative that earned the team the Neer award in 2010 for its work in determining the effectiveness of using non-operative physical therapy to treat complete rotator cuff tears. Those initial efforts demonstrated that a physical therapy program was effective in more than 85 percent of patients. More recently, when predictors of success were examined, the team found that the strongest predictor was patient expectation. Patients who thought the program would work saw greater success than those who expected the program to fail.

The studies asked patients (n=433) to do six to twelve weeks of physical therapy either with a therapist or at home with a booklet and DVD. Results of the new study, in which researchers worked to determine predictors of success for the physical therapy program, were presented at the 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting in Chicago earlier this month.

Carey’s research efforts are being conducted in conjunction with the MOON Shoulder Group. Under the direction of John E. Kuhn, MD, chief of Shoulder Surgery at Vanderbilt University, the MOON Shoulder Group is a multi-center orthopaedic network of doctors from around the country.

In 1985, Neer created a fund to recognize outstanding clinical investigation that contributes to the understanding, care and prevention of injuries to the shoulder and elbow. The prestigious award has been presented annually since the first Open Meeting of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. In 1987, the award was expanded to recognize both clinical and research categories.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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