Exploring Options for ACL Surgery

Lauren Klepper’s Research Leads to Opportunity to Observe Orthopedic Surgeons

Exploring Options for ACL Surgery

For her Undergraduate Research Project at Gardner-Webb, Lauren Klepper chose to explore a topic directly related to her career. A senior, she’s majoring in biology with a concentration in biomedical sciences to prepare for Physician Assistant (PA) school. Her goal is to work in orthopedics and sports medicine, a specialty she developed a passion for as a high school athlete.

“I had many visits to the orthopedic office for my shoulder and knee,” explained Klepper, of Charlotte, N.C. “I decided to do my research on the advancement of minimally invasive arthroscopic ACL reconstruction surgery. I picked this surgery to explore, because my mother had ACL surgery 25 years ago. She recently reinjured her knee. The orthopedic surgeon said that after all this time and all the advancements in the medical field, they have discovered there is a better angle for the placement of the screws that hold the ACL graft in place. He recommended that she have surgery again to fix the placement in order to relieve that pain.”

Klepper received a grant from the GWU Undergraduate Research Scholars Program to work 40 hours a week for five weeks on her study. She was mentored by Dr. Meredith Rowe, assistant professor of biology. She spent a lot of time reading studies and articles published by doctors and medical researchers. “I also interviewed an experienced orthopedic surgeon from OrthoCarolina who is a specialist in arthroscopic knee surgeries,” Klepper offered. “I had the incredible opportunity to go to an OrthoCarolina surgery center in downtown Charlotte to observe several ACL repairs performed by the surgeon I interviewed. All of these experiences strengthened my love and passion for orthopedics.”

The experience also opened a door for her. “I have been offered a position in the student programs through OrthoCarolina,” she offered. “I will be able to observe surgeries and shadow physicians and physician assistants when my schedule allows. This opportunity will prepare me for PA school and allow me to obtain specialized experience in this field.”

Learn more about the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program