Our dedicated orthopaedic researchers, with the support of the NorthShore Research Institute, work on a growing portfolio of collaborative research projects across disciplines, creating a ‘bench to bedside’ atmosphere that offers the latest technology and care for patients.
Our surgeons also lead the way in innovation, using 3D printing to change the way they look at bones and approach complex knee, shoulder and spine repair. These 3D models enable surgeons to take a closer look at the operative area well before an incision is made. It allows surgeons to precisely plan the surgery, ultimately improving outcomes.
Joint Care: Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery
Our Joint Care: Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery specialists program supports a Joint Replacement Registry, which allows us to track patients and their outcomes and to leverage this data for a variety of studies aimed at improving care. NorthShore will participate in the American Joint Replacement Registry allowing our physicians to track data on a complete range of devices and techniques and monitor performance and trends locally and nationally. Outcomes data will be studied and applied to best practices going forward for device design and surgical methods.
NorthShore is leading the way in safety and quality improvements for shoulder surgery and other orthopaedic procedures.
The Sports Medicine team was recently awarded the Charles S. Neer Clinical Science Award from American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons for research directed at reducing risk during shoulder surgery. In a collaborative sports medicine research project with the Department of Anesthesia, the team led by Jason Koh, MD, Orthopaedic Department Chair, identified strategies to reduce risks related to blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain during surgery.
Advances in knee surgery are proving fruitful as well. Our surgeons are using regenerative medicine as a technique to regrow cartilage to heal knee injuries. The process involves taking healthy cartilage from a patient, growing the cells in the lab and then transplanting the cartilage cells back into the patient’s knee. Cartilage has no ability to heal, but regenerative medicine is enabling cartilage to regrow in patients, and in many cases, giving them better outcomes in returning to an active life within months of surgery.
Spine and Back Pain
Our Spine and Back Pain team is pursuing research related to spinal instability. Mark Mikhael, MD, is researching the use of donor stem cells to help facilitate fusion during spinal surgery. Known as spondylodesis, spinal fusion is a surgical technique used to join two or more unstable vertebrae. In adults, supplementary bone tissue cells are used to help the body’s natural bone growth to fuse the vertebrae together. Instead of retrieving the patient’s own stem cells, traditionally obtained by taking a portion of bone from the patient’s hip though a separate incision, surgeons now are using donor stem cells to stimulate bone fusion. For the patient, this prevents additional pain, blood loss, surgical time, risk of infection and delayed recovery associated with surgery.
Studies led by Eldin Karaikovic, MD, PhD, are identifying methods to more accurately diagnose lumbar instability in situations where traditional tests are inconclusive. The team is using advanced technology combining high-definition cameras and computerized systems developed to analyze motion in high-performance sports. The researchers also are engaged in biomechanical studies related to the stability of different techniques in pedicle screw fixation used to repair certain spinal conditions, as well as minimally invasive cementing techniques for treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures.
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
A Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation team is concentrating on osteoarthritis-related research. A team led by Victoria Brander, MD, is investigating the use of of hyaluronic acid, (a synthetic joint fluid), platelet rich plasma and other injectible agents to improve osteoarthritis outcomes. Dr. Brander's research also targets developing strategies to maximize recovery following joint replacement surgery, as well as looking at risk factors for optimal recovery.
Foot & Ankle
Exciting initiatives in foot and ankle-related research led by Steven L. Haddad, MD, are focused on developing new ankle joint prostheses, as well as revising existing prostheses for total ankle replacement patients. Dr. Haddad's work is aimed at refining the biomechanics of ankle replacement to simulate more natural joint motion. He is also evaluating outcomes data on currently implanted prostheses. His team is also involved in advancing methods to correct complex foot and ankle deformities, and to more effectively treat ruptured tendons.
A commitment to excellence in orthopaedic patient care is backed by a growing emphasis on clinical research ensuring that our patients have access to the most advanced treatment options. NorthShore's orthopaedic experts cooperate with other clinical departments in NorthShore to advance promising studies in orthopaedic research.