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Dr. David C. Flanigan believes research is an integral component to his practice. He preforms research in various areas including basic science studies, translational science studies, and clinical studies.He has been honored with many awards and grants for his work. His research has spanned many conditions about the knee including anterior cruciate ligament injuries and reconstructions, meniscal injuries and repair, articular cartilage injuries and repair.

Partnering with many collaborators, Dr. Flanigan’s research investigates many questions that will directly impact patient care. Pioneering the first comprehensive Cartilage Restoration Program in Ohio, he has set up a research team to investigate issues relating to cartilage in areas of imaging, biomechanics, operative interventions, rehabilitation, and outcomes. He also continues to investigate questions in the lab seeking to understand the factors influencing cartilage lesion progression, new avenues of cartilage regeneration, and innovative ways to enhance surgical procedures for cartilage. This comprehensive approach blending his research with his clinical practice allows Dr. Flanigan to provide the best, up-to-date, progressive, and evidence based care to his patients.

Dr. Flanigan actively participates in multicenter orthopaedic outcomes research studies, the MOON and MARS study. Furthermore, he also collects data on all of his surgeries to investigate outcomes of various surgeries he preforms. He is involved in clinical trials evaluating the role of new technologies verses traditional microfracture for cartilage repair. These and other clinical studies allow continual evaluation of the non-operative and operative management of many conditions. How they impact patient outcomes helps provide evidence based approaches to patient care.

Below are some of the various grants and projects that have been funded.


  • Arthroscopy Association of North America, "Radial Distribution of Chondrocyte Cell Death in Medial and Lateral Femoral Condyles in Porcine Knees After Sub-Impact Loading", $25,000, Principal Investigator, July 2011 - June 2012.
  • NFL Charities, "Effects of Season and level of Play on Articular Cartilage Health in Collegiate Linemen", $99,965, Principal Investigator, February 2011 - December 2011.
  • OSU Sports Health & Performance Institute, "Biomechanics and Subject-Specific Modeling of Individuals with Symptomatic Focal Chondral Defects", $15,000, Co-Investigator, July 2011 - June 2013.
  • Bertone A, Flanigan D (Co-PI's) "Comparative Quantitative In Vivo Imaging of Long-term Cartilage Repair" OSU Sports Medicine Intramural Grant, $25,000, May 1, 2009 - April 30, 2011
  • Bertone A, Flanigan D (Co-PI's); "In Vivo MRI Assessment of Genetically Engineered Cartilage" OSU Sports Medicine Intramural Grant Proposal, $24,858. May 1, 2008 - April 30, 2010


  • Ankle sprains: a randomized study of NSAID's verses anti-inflammatory patch
  • Systematic review of radiographic changes after ACL reconstruction: comparison of patella tendon verses hamstrings
  • Randomized study of different meniscal repair therapy protocols
  • Retrospective analysis of correlation of MR and arthroscopic sizing of cartilage lesions
  • Prospective evaluation of MR accuracy of sizing of cartilage lesions

Ongoing studies (Funded via Cartilage Restoration Research & Education Fund)

  • The High Variability in Sizing Knee Cartilage Defects
  • Accuracy of MRI sizing of cartilage defects: A systematic review
  • Cartilage defect contact pressure in a dynamic model
  • Spacing of meniscal suture for repair of large meniscal tears
  • Spacing of meniscal implants for repair of meniscal tears
  • Impact of Meniscal implants on meniscus integrity: A Cadaveric model
  • Incidence of meniscal tears in athletes
  • Treatment of meniscal tears in athletes
  • The role of Navigation in Sports Medicine Knee Procedures
  • Inter and Intra observer reliability of sizing of cartilage defects in the knee

Completed (Funded via Cartilage Restoration Research & Education Fund)

  • Effects of proud synthetic and osteochondral grafts on articular cartilage contact pressure. (10/07 - 5/07)
  • Effect of size and shape of cartilage lesion on articular cartilage contact pressure
  • Systematic review of Autologous Cartilage Implantation
  • Impact of Femoral Condyle Lesion by Location: A Rat Model

Completed (privately funded)

  • "A Biomechanical Comparison of Patellar Tendon Repair Materials in a Bovine Model"
  • "Anticoagulation and Arthroscopy: A Survey of Medical Decision Making."
  • "Arthroscopy on Coumadin Patients: A Retrospective Analysis of Complications."
  • "Traumatic Hip Subluxation: The Role of an Early MRI - Case Report."
  • Biomet - Meniscal suture verses Next generation meniscal suture implants: A biomechanical comparison. (8/07 - 12/07)
  • Anatomical study of the safety and efficacy of a new meniscal implant. (10/07 - 1/08)
  • Pilot study: Synovial imaging and biologic markers, an evaluation in the acute knee injury

Dr. Flanigans OSU: pro Profile

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If you choose to donate, please send Dr. Flanigan an email as he would like to thank you for your partnership in his research.