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Clinical Research Activities

Arthroplasty: The arthroplasty surgeons based at the MUHC-MGH and SMBD-JGH are conducting clinical research on the benefits of computer-assisted navigation in total knee arthroplasty and randomized trials on the long term outcome of metal-on-metal hip arthroplasty and plasma ion levels in these patients. Other work conducted in collaboration with colleagues across Canada and in Europe involves the evaluation of clinical outcomes including pain assessment in patients with novel hip implants and assessment of a new class of anticoagulants in patients undergoing surgical procedures.

Oncology: The MUHC led the largest study ever conducted across Canada on outcomes following treatment of myxoid\round cell liposarcomas, as well as a study sponsored by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Quebec Ministry of Health investigating the incidence and nature of post-transplant adverse events following allograft bone transplantation. The later study precedes the establishment of a national surveillance system of adverse events following tissue and organ transplantation. Collaboration continues with the University of Toronto and McMaster for banking sarcoma tissue and clinical data collection on a prospective study examining the benefits of surgery for long bone metastases.

Paediatrics: The expanding group of physicians providing orthopaedic care at the Shriners and MCH sites are aligning their clinical research efforts in the surgical reconstruction of the hip, limbs and spine with fundamental work on cartilage and bone regeneration. Osteogenic proteins have been investigated to increase bone formation and botulinum toxin A to decrease pain in children undergoing limb lengthening to correct for discrepancies with the Ilizarov technique. Other work is investigating minimally invasive surgical approaches for the correction of hip dysplasia and novel growing rod implants for guided spine growth that will significantly improve the quality of life of young children with scoliosis.

Spine: Much of the clinical research effort in spine effectively crosses the boundaries of that classified under Paediatrics and Trauma. The research efforts that fall in the adult spine domain include collaborative work with international consortia that addresses spinal stenosis and cord compression and the development of advanced instrumentation and technology for the management of fractures of the spine.

Sports: In keeping with their role as attending physicians to some of Canada’s top sports teams and elite athletes, the research by MUHC surgeons is focused on the development of advanced 3D MRI for the planning of ACL reconstruction, the use of patient controlled analgesia following ACL reconstruction and the advantages of using different arthroscopic portals for minimally invasive procedures.

Trauma: The orthopaedic trauma surgeons are involved in many ongoing studies with colleagues across Canada under the umbrella of the Canadian Orthopaedic Trauma Society (COTS). The MUHC group has played a leading role for more than a decade in prospective, randomized orthopaedic trials on a wide variety of topics including open reduction and internal fixation of fractures in the elderly, operative vs non-operative treatment of displaced calcaneal and clavicular fractures and closed reduction with external fixation. The COTS model for collaboration amongst surgeons and clinical research coordinators for the development of a research protocol is widely recognized as key to the success and productivity of the group.