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Orthopaedic Surgery Advances

Building on a Strong Foundation: James D. Kang, MD, Appointed New Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery

James D. Kang, MD, has been appointed as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and succeeds Thomas S. Thornhill, MD, who stepped down after more than 20 years of groundbreaking leadership. Dr. Kang, an internationally recognized expert on the basic science and clinical treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration, discussed his vision of building on the strong foundation that was established by his predecessor.

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Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells and Nanorobots to Enhance Fracture-healing After Trauma

Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are performing innovative research into the use of stem cells and nanomedicine to improve fracture-healing after trauma. “Fracture-healing remains a poorly understood yet vital process for all procedures in orthopaedics. From the perspective of a trauma surgeon, a clearer understanding of this essential process and specific areas in which we can impact the consistency of the result would optimize clinical outcomes,” explained Mitchel Harris, MD, FACS, Chief, Orthopaedic Trauma Service. “We are currently investigating mechanisms whereby we can reinvigorate the vitality of osteoblasts, particularly in the elderly, after fractures. If we can identify factors that improve this process in the geriatric population, we may be able to apply this to the younger population as well. In addition to our cellular work, we are also investigating the nanodelivery of chemicals that work locally but can be administered without surgical intervention.”

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Operation Walk Boston: Outcomes Research Informs Surgery, Education, and Sustainable Care

Universal health insurance in the Dominican Republic does not cover expensive elective procedures like total joint replacements, and many people in the country cannot afford the cost of these procedures on their own. Over the past seven years, Operation Walk Boston has provided total joint replacements to nearly 300 residents of the Dominican Republic with advanced hip or knee arthritis and limited financial needs. During this time, the Boston chapter of Operation Walk, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery Thomas S. Thornhill, MD, has evolved to include outcomes research which has enhanced all aspects of the program.

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Innovative Arthroscopic Technique Preserves Chondrolabral Junction during Labral Repair and Acetabuloplasty

Orthopaedic surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are utilizing an innovative arthroscopic technique to treat femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) while preserving the chondrolabral junction.

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Researchers Use Advanced Techniques in Molecular Biology to Understand Limb Regeneration

Striving to identify the mechanisms of appendage regeneration, a research team led by Jessica L. Whited, PhD, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Regenerative Medicine Center is using innovative molecular biology techniques to study limb regeneration in a colony of axolotl salamanders. By manipulating gene expression at specific points in time during limb regeneration, they are working to determine events that initiate the regenerative process.

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Brigham and Women's Researcher Leads Major Study Aimed at Preventing Fall Injuries in Older People

To find effective, evidence-based strategies to address the personal and public health burden of falls in older adults, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) have joined to support a clinical trial to test individually tailored interventions to prevent fall-related injuries. The award, made by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the NIH and funded by PCORI as part of the Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership of the two organizations, is expected to total some $30 million over the five year project. First-year funding of $7.6 million was awarded last June.

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