Knees, hips, shoulders, spine... Research in orthopedic surgery

May 1, 2007

Over the last 20 years, there has been a revolution in the repair and replacement of joints, with many procedures becoming far less invasive and far more effective. These advancements would not have been possible without clinical research.

Today, clinicians in the Orthopedic Surgery Department are conducting a number of research studies. Here are just a few examples:

• Dr. Paul Kim and Dr. Paul Beaulé are investigating a technique known as resurfacing hip replacement, which may be able to allow younger patients to remain more active following surgery.

• Dr. Peter Lapner is leading a clinical trial to determine if patients do better when a small portion of their shoulder bone is shaved off when surgeons reattach torn muscles. He is also conducting research on minimally invasive surgery, and he has spearheaded the creation of a “shoulder database” to track all patients and determine which procedures are most effective.

• Trauma surgeon Dr. Steven Papp is conducting research on different surgical wound care techniques. He has also initiated a local fracture database that will provide important information on practice patterns and the efficacy of surgical procedures.

• In the spine surgery unit, Dr. Eugene Wai has developed several research studies to determine how best to select patients for referral from their family physician to a surgeon. This research has the potential to significantly reduce wait times.

Through these and other research studies, members of the Orthopedic Surgery Department are paving the way for the next generation of care.