AOFAS and Arthritis Foundation Award Grants to Fuel Ankle Arthritis Research

Nearly $600,000 in merit-based grants were awarded through The Ankle Arthritis Think Tank Research Grants Program.

Rosemont, Ill. (September 18, 2023) – The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) announced the recipients of the first-ever AF/AOFAS Ankle Arthritis Think Tank Research Grants. The grants provide substantial funding to support innovative clinical research that advances knowledge toward treatments to stop or slow ankle osteoarthritis (OA).

Affecting over 30 million Americans, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This month, the Arthritis Foundation and AOFAS awarded three grants, each totaling almost $200,000 over a two-year period, to AOFAS members dedicated to furthering their ankle osteoarthritis research. 

“This award represents a major step forward for our collaborative effort to understand the unique nature of ankle arthritis. Findings could lead to novel preventative measures and targeted treatments,” said Kenneth J. Hunt, MD, at the University of Colorado Denver, one of the recipients of the award. “We are grateful to the Arthritis Foundation and AOFAS for supporting this work.”

Another grant award recipient, Constantine A. Demetracopoulos, MD, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, said this grant gives his research team the opportunity to study bone quality in ankle arthritis patients in a multidisciplinary and meaningful way. 

“Our hope is that our research will lead to better treatment options for patients early on in the disease and improved decision-making and outcomes in our surgical interventions for patients with end-stage ankle arthritis,” he said.

The 2023 AF/AOFAS Ankle Arthritis Think Tank grant award recipients: 
  • Determining the Traumatic Origins of Ankle OA and the Time to Joint Degeneration:
    Donald D. Anderson, PhD, University of Iowa, and Cesar de Cesar Netto, MD, PhD, Duke University
  • The Impact of Bone Quality and Histopathology in Ankle Osteoarthritis:
    Constantine A. Demetracopoulos, MD, and Jensen K. Henry, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Defining the Unique Synovial Transcriptome and Proteome of Ankle Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis:
    Kenneth J. Hunt, MD, and Michael Zuscik, PhD, University of Colorado Denver 
“This award means so much to our research team,” said Donald D. Anderson, PhD, from the University of Iowa. “We are establishing a multi-site clinical study group to retrospectively investigate how ankle osteoarthritis develops after different injuries. Our vision is to also position this group to study new interventions as they emerge.”

To read the full grant summaries and learn more about the AF/AOFAS Ankle Arthritis Think Tank Research Grants, visit

The Arthritis Foundation and AOFAS thank Paragon 28 for their support of the Ankle Arthritis Think Tank and our work in 2023.

About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.

About the AOFAS
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at

About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, the Arthritis Foundation’s mission is to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care, and join the fight for a cure – uniting hearts, minds, and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit

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