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In This Video

  • Researchers from the Department of Orthopaedics discuss the clinical and translational work they are doing at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Research teams are working collaboratively across specialties to improve surgeons' ability to diagnose, detect and treat orthopedic disorders
  • This collaborative approach improves patient care across orthopedic focus areas from using biologics to harness the natural healing of a patient, to testing cancer immunology, to developing ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene for joint replacements

Researchers from the Department of Orthopaedics discuss the clinical and translational work they are doing at Massachusetts General Hospital. Research teams are working collaboratively across specialties to improve surgeons' ability to diagnose, detect and treat orthopedic disorders. This collaborative approach improves patient care across orthopedic focus areas from using biologics to harness the natural healing of a patient, to testing cancer immunology, to developing ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene for joint replacements.

Transcript

Erbu Oral, PhD, associate director of Biomaterials: What's great about the Department of Orthopedics at Mass General is that we are able to combine these ideas that we have in the laboratory over time with the expertise of our clinicians and bring some really advanced technologies to the patients.

Mitchel Harris, MD, chief of Orthopaedic Surgery: Orthopedics at Mass General is looking to break down the previous silos. The more we can hear from and understand different perspectives, the better we can address some of the complex and challenging problems we have with health care.

Daniel Guss, MD, MBA, orthopaedic surgeon in the Foot and Ankle Center: We pursue research to improve our ability to answer the questions posed by patients.

Thomas Holovacs, MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder and sports medicine: One of the most exciting new frontiers in orthopedic surgery, and in particular, shoulder reconstruction in sports medicine, is the area that we call biologics. What we mean by biologics are living tissues that we can then implant into patients surgically that augment and harness the natural healing potential that the patient has.

Mitchel Harris, MD: We've been looking at how to reinvigorate the stem cells or the osteoblasts of the geriatric patient population in hopes that they will heal their bone's fracture and potentially return to independence quicker.

Joseph H. Schwab, MD, MS, chief of the Orthopaedic Spine Center: The field of cancer immunology has really exploded, and we're looking at things like HLA expression on the surface of cells. We're finding that many of our sarcomas and bone tumors lack HLA expression, particularly those tumors that are more aggressive. They seem to be circumventing the immune system.

Erbu Oral, PhD: At the Harris Orthopaedics Lab, we have a long history of developing ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene as a bearing surface for joint replacements. We have tried to solve many problems, including osteolysis, over the years. We are now focusing on infection because this is a very morbid condition.

Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, director of the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory: This new polyethylene that is going to contain antibiotics hopefully is going to prevent early and late infection in patients.

Christopher W. DiGiovanni, MD, chief of the Foot and Ankle Center: We're focusing on ligament injuries in the midfoot called a lisfranc injury. We are focusing on better ways to take care of fifth metatarsal fractures, which are very common in high-profile elite and/or very active athletes and other individuals.

Young-Min Kwon, MD, PhD, program director for the Adult Constructive Surgery Fellowship Program and director of the Bioengineering Laboratory: What we have actually learned, for example, in terms of total knee arthoplasty is the importance of trying to mimic the kinematics of a native knee following total knee arthoplasty, which is a challenge. We're also learning that there's a significant variation from patient to patient.

Christopher DiGiovanni, MD: Everyone is committed to a true excellence. People want to be impactful here. This place is known for delivering tomorrow's care today.

Young-Min Kwon, MD, PhD: We are very much committed to innovation of our field through translation research.

Mitchel Harris, MD: Not only are we providing excellent clinical care, but we keep questioning whether we can do it better and how.

Learn more about the Department of Orthopaedics

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Mitchel Harris, MD, chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, 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.