About Our Research Programs
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery not only offers superb clinical care, but is also on the forefront of developing new therapies and procedures for the benefit of patients here and around the world.
Our physicians provide leadership in both basic and clinical research — from testing novel ideas in the laboratory to translating breakthrough approaches into direct patient care. Department faculty are renowned for pioneering advances in the care and treatment of a vast spectrum of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.
Our physicians are investigating stem-cell-based therapies for certain bone defects by focusing on potential ways to repair human bones through lessons learned from two not-so-distant relatives: mice and zebrafish. When mouse ribs or zebrafish jaws are damaged, special cartilage cells transform themselves into bone-producing cells called osteoblasts. Our research team — in collaboration with researchers from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC — hopes to show that these cells can more effectively heal severe bone damage that is a challenge to current therapeutic approaches.
Serving as team physicians for USC Trojan athletes and world-class sports teams in Los Angeles, our faculty actively pursue advancements in the science of sports medicine. A recent study by faculty members Seth Gamradt, MD, George F. Rick Hatch III, MD, and James E. Tibone, MD, measured the vitamin D levels of USC Trojans athletes to look for deficiencies in this nutrient that is vital for optimal muscle power, force, velocity and bone mass. The researchers found that, among 223 athletes studied, about one-third had vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. The results were published in the journal Sports Health.