School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

PhD opportunities

Sara Aspinall

Photo of  Sara Aspinall

PhD student

Start Date: January 2017

Primary Supervisor: Daniel Fong

Secondary Supervisor(s): Patrick Wheeler


Sara is a Senior Physiotherapist with 9 years of experience of working at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.  She has specialized in the musculoskeletal physiotherapy for the last 7 years. In 2016 she completed a Master by Research in Clinical Research at Coventry University. Following this Sara has been awarded a studentship to study for a PhD at Loughborough University.

Sara strongly believes in patient-centred care and has worked with a patient to develop a new medical stretching device which she will be investigating throughout her PhD.  She is passionate about developing a career in research which will enable her to influence the area in which she works to improve the treatment options for the patients that she cares for.

Sara is an enthusiastic equestrian eventer competing in regional and national competitions.


Title: A comparative feasibility study considering the use of the STAK Tool to treat arthrofibrosis patients post total knee replacement

Arthrofibrosis following total knee replacement can result in extensive scar tissue causing severe pain and loss of knee range of movement (KROM). Basic daily living activities including walking, standing up from a chair and climbing stairs are severely affected. Conventional physiotherapy include passive stretching, joint manipulations and home exercises aimed at changing the length and density of tissues to achieve plastic deformation enabling the patient to regain KROM, but there are known problems with home exercising which can result in poor progress leading to additional surgery. The STAK Tool is an innovative medical stretching devicewhich could improve the lives of patient with knee arthrofibrosis. 

External Activities:

Completing bank work as Senior Physiotherapist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.


Presentation: ‘A new Instrument to measure knee range of movement’ at Therapy Service Evaluation, Audit and Research Showcase (TRASE) 22/3/16 at UHL NHS Trust