Research Findings from the J. Vernon Luck, Sr., Research Center at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children Presented at National Conference

Important Discoveries on Orthopaedic Implants and Surgical Techniques May Lead to Improved Quality of Life for Patients With Bone Cancer, Spinal Injuries and Clubfoot

LOS ANGELES--()--Patients with a wide range of illnesses and injuries – ranging from bone cancer to spinal injuries to clubfoot – have new hope thanks to a number of research projects underway at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC). Four such projects were recently presented to professional colleagues at the annual joint meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ORS/AAOS).

The findings presented were the result of work taking place at the J. Vernon Luck, Sr., M.D., Research Center (JVL). Located on the OIC campus in downtown Los Angeles, the research center is internationally recognized as a leading center of multidisciplinary orthopaedic research.

“At the JVL Research Center, biomechanical engineers, scientists and clinicians collaborate regularly on projects that can have an immediate impact on the quality of patient care,” said Sophia Sangiorgio, Ph.D., director of biomechanics at the center and associate professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at UCLA. “By evaluating the efficacy of current orthopaedic implants and the associated surgical techniques, we’ve developed several models that allow us to simulate surgical procedures and test various corrective maneuvers in the laboratory pre-operatively.”

At the recent ORS/AAOS meeting in New Orleans, researchers from the JVL Research Center shared research findings related to the safety of a noninvasive method, commonly known as the Ponseti method, for clubfoot correction, even in double-jointed children. They also shared with conference attendees research that may lead to new ways to improve implants used to replace the knee joints of patients who lose their own knee due to bone cancer. This is particularly significant as some patients have been known to react negatively to the presence of metal implants, including rare cases of allergy, or when there are problems with the implants that might result in the inflammation of adjacent tissues.

Another research project shared at the conference focused on lab tests of a new 3D-printed biodegradable implant for spine injuries in the neck, which promise improved spinal fusion surgeries. Also presented were results of testing a new plate for the treatment of a specific foot injury (Lisfranc) that may reduce the risk of damaging cartilage in the joint.

The JVL Research Center is directed by Edward Ebramzadeh, Ph.D. Other full-time researcher faculty include Patricia Campbell, Ph.D.; Sang-Hyun Park, Ph.D.; Zhen Lu, Ph.D.; and Sophia Sangiorgio, Ph.D. All of the JVL researchers have faculty appointments in the UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. They routinely collaborate with clinical faculty, including Lewis Zionts, M.D.; Scott Nelson, M.D.; Mauricio Silva, M.D.; Richard Bowen, M.D.; Jennifer Beck, M.D.; and Thomas Harris, M.D. Collaborations outside UCLA include Donald Longjohn, M.D. (USC), and Scott Hollister, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech), among many others. The lab routinely hosts interns and students from undergraduate level to orthopaedic residents and post-doctoral fellows.

For more than 30 years, the JVL Research Center has advanced the understanding of joint arthroplasty implant biomechanics, clinical performance, fixation, implant retrieval analysis and tribology. Most recently, the team has studied the biomechanics, treatment and outcome of pediatric orthopaedic issues including fractures, scoliosis and clubfoot. During the past three decades, the center’s faculty has published an extensive number of manuscripts in leading orthopaedic journals; and their research has been recognized with many of the industry’s most prestigious awards. Funding for the center is provided by granting agencies such as the National Institute on Health, from private foundations including the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation, and through contracts and research grants sponsored by the orthopaedic industry.

About Orthopaedic Institute for Children

Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) was founded in 1911 as Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital. Focused solely on musculoskeletal conditions in children, OIC receives nearly 70,000 patient visits each year. In alliance with UCLA Health and with the support of the OIC Foundation, we advance pediatric orthopaedics worldwide through outstanding patient care, medical education and research. Our locations in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Westwood and Calexico treat the full spectrum of pediatric orthopaedic disorders and injuries. For more information, visit us at ortho-institute.org.

Contacts

Orthopaedic Institute for Children
Teezal Gaji, 213-742-1501
TGaji@mednet.ucla.edu

Release Summary

Discoveries on Orthopaedic implants and surgical techniques may improve quality of life for patients with bone cancer, spinal injuries and clubfoot.

Contacts

Orthopaedic Institute for Children
Teezal Gaji, 213-742-1501
TGaji@mednet.ucla.edu