Skip to content

Research Innovations from Mass General Orthopaedics

In This Video

  • Mitchel B. Harris, MD, is chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Here, he discusses the latest research projects out of the Department of Orthopaedics, including efforts to help patients control pain and infection from total joint replacement and discovering targeted treatments for spinal cancer
  • He also discusses innovations and advances in care from the various orthopedic subspecialty services at Mass General

Mitchel Harris, MD, chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the latest research projects out of the Department of Orthopaedics and the Harris Orthopaedics Lab, including efforts to help patients control pain and infection from total joint replacement and discovering targeted treatments for spinal cancer.


Mass General Orthopaedics has long been a leader in innovative methods of treating patients with orthopedic problems as well as orthopedic conditions. The Harris Orthopaedic Lab for years has been on the forefront of technology and innovation in total joint replacement areas. Most recently the Harris lab has produced an antibiotic and/or an analgesic-eluting polythene. This is something very helpful for the total joint patients, to both control their pain and possibly control the onset of either late infections or those that occur early postoperatively. 

Several of the other departments have been working on individual research projects as well. Our Oncology Service, which has been here for a long time and has long been considered one of the leaders nationally, has been looking at some of the basic sciences and how it relates to targeted treatments for some of the cancers that are affecting the spine. Through the basic science laboratory, they are starting to identify some areas where targeted therapy might be more successful in treating spinal metastases as well as primary tumors.

Our Spine Service has embraced the idea of artificial intelligence and has been looking at data that we have accumulated both locally and on national databases to better understand some of the predictors for longevity after spinal metastases surgery as well as success after more common degenerative conditions.

Our Foot and Ankle Service is excited to announce the opening of a new technology and innovation center. There, they plan to look more closely at the mechanics of total ankle arthroplasty as well as some of the treatment methods currently used for injuries about the ankle.

Trauma Service has recently produced some literature about the frailty of geriatric patients after hip fractures and how we can successfully intervene and potentially prolong both their lifespan but as well as their independent lifestyles. 

Additionally, most recently we had some research that started looking at the different treatment methods of complex ankle fractures and how staging them sometimes can be helpful in terms of alleviating some of the downstream problems from doing them initially.

Our Shoulder Service, run by Dr. Warner has long been interested in the value proposition. Most recently he started to look at how we can start bending the cost curve as we look at both value and quality as our key determinants for success in shoulder replacement as well as shoulder repair surgery.

Learn more about the Department of Orthopaedics

Learn about the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory