Research and Innovation
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery focuses on improving outcomes in patients with musculoskeletal conditions and study a range of topics in musculoskeletal biology, disease, injury and regeneration. We accomplish this overarching goal by employing a variety of research methods including prospective clinical studies, traditional randomized controlled trials, and clinical registries to address our scientific questions.
Our team includes faculty, fellows, residents, students and researchers who are interested in finding answers to today’s most pressing orthopaedic challenges faced when providing care for patients who have skeletal trauma, sport injuries, degenerative joint diseases, and spinal conditions.
We include students and residents in our work, to ensure they have the skills and training in how to conduct research that will yield answers, and they can develop strategic methods for advancing patient care.
We believe research is a collaborative endeavor. Our department collaborates with many researchers in other disciplines across the University of Cincinnati including engineering and industrial design. We also work closely with research colleagues in other medical specialties within the College of Medicine.
Clinical trials have become a vital piece of our research that provides our physicians with the actionable information to improve upon our current procedures and medical treatments. We have recently begun to collaborate on more and more studies with doctors across the country to test state-of-the-art treatment options to improve the quality of life for our patients.
We are currently participating in a clinical trial to evaluate if P-15L bone graft (investigational device) is not inferior in effectiveness and safety to local autologous bone (and allograft where necessary) as an extender (control device) when applied in instrumented transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) in subjects with degenerative disc disease (DDD).
We just completed a clinical trial evaluating the safety and clinical effectiveness of autologous protein solution, prepared from a small sample of a patient’s own blood with an investigational device, on pain and function associated with knee osteoarthritis.
And we are excited to share that we will beginning the clinical trial phase of a recently federally funded research grant looking at a new method to treat meniscal tears at the beginning of 2021.
Several studies are currently focused on the brains of athletes and training them to process information faster by using equipment designed to improve visual acuity and hand-eye coordination. We are pioneers in developing this for performance enhancement, injury prevention and concussion management.
We are also developing objective decision-based models for clinical use by sports medicine practitioners that take into account quantification of the forces that caused the injury and individualized, quantifiable outcomes for players attempting to return to play.
These studies are a part of our sports medicine team’s research program dedicated to helping UC lead the way in developing and discovering improved techniques to help our athletes, as well as aiding the health of the community and nation.
Basic Science Research
The modern orthopaedic care requires interdisciplinary knowledge to ensure the affected musculoskeletal tissues can be adequately reconstituted and/or restored to maintain systemic kinematics. This includes understanding of biomechanics, materials used, and, biology and physiology that orchestrate healing after surgical interventions. To this regard, there have been significant clinical interests from our department that intersects with biomechanics, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and biofabrication with 3D printing, the longstanding research thrusts of our basic science research group, the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories.
We have continuously develop multi-disciplanry research and collaborative investigations, which encompass:
Sports Medicine: 1) Injectable drug-gel depot for meniscal tear repair (sponsored by the Department of Defense), 2) 3D bio-printing with decellularized cartilage to build an osteochondral bioresorbable construct (2017 Angela S.M. Kuo Memorial Award from Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America) and 3) Finite element analysis for incidence of stress shielding with total knee replacement;
Trauma: 1) computational pelvic fracture assessment and 2) biomechanical evaluation of fixation construct for proximal femur fracture ;
Spine: Injectable drug-gel depot to treat discogenic low back pain;
Oncology: differentiation therapy of BMP-2 to treat osteosarcoma