This speciality discipline involves biological studies to gain a better understanding of factors that leads to – degenerative joint disease; osteoarthritis; improved healing of soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, articular cartilage, and meniscus cartilage; and novel and untried approaches of treatment modalities. One of the broad goals of this work can be stated simply as joint preservation. To this end a Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration Centre and a Surgical Training Centre have been established for residents, fellows, consultants and scientists. These facilities highlight the foresight and commitment that the SSC places on promoting future breakthroughs in orthopaedic surgery.
The central goals of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration Centre are two-fold. Firstly, to provide a centre of excellence for investigators interested in musculoskeletal research, with special emphasis on repair and regeneration of cartilage and other soft tissues and bone. The second aim is the provision of active clinical facilities for autogenous cartilage grafting techniques, an increasingly important aspect of joint preservation techniques.
The Surgical Training Centre (STC) is critical in improving standards of care through refining techniques and developing new and better modalities of care for our patients, and in establishing the national and international reputation and credentials of the SSC. As has been proven in similar state of the art units internationally, the presence of an effective dynamic orthopaedic research and education facility is of fundamental importance. The practical surgical expertise that is provided at the SSC is of a world class standard. Through the Training Centre this knowledge is imparted to interested medical health care professionals. The Centre has been designed to provide state-of-the-art simulated technical surgical training, with the capability to house fresh frozen cadaveric training modules. This enables safe and appropriate learning of new techniques for consultant staff and suitable training in more ‘standard’ techniques for trainees.
The cornerstone of medical innovation and scientific breakthrough includes outcome-based patient care. By focusing on how the patients progress following surgery the research creates a scientific and caring culture for the benefit of present and future patients. Tracking patient performance provides information on what to expect from a surgery; thus allowing patients to make informed decisions and improve satisfaction. Monitoring the outcome of surgeon’s patients will also help with the cost of healthcare. The fewer failures that require a subsequent surgery and the fewer complications, the less money spent on healthcare.
Registries for hip and knee replacement procedures are a world-wide reality with growing importance. Many of the pre-eminent registries—such as those in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Australia, Denmark, and New Zealand—have more than 25 years of experience and are currently collecting data on more than 90 per cent of procedures nationally. We began collecting clinical data on hip related surgeries performed by Professor Mulhall in 2009. An automated knee ligament registry system is currently being developed to record relevant pre-, intra- and post-operative data. Mr Jackson is carrying out an initial pilot study which will be later extended to include Mr Moran’s patients. The system is able to capture patient related and clinical scores on the iPad and other tablets as well as email patient follow up forms that can be filled out online. The ACL registry will help us improve the quality of care for patients who have been treated for sport related ACL injuries. The sports medicine community will learn about the most effective treatments for both short and long-term outcomes. Consultants will also have the opportunity to carry out similar studies in their specific fields using these bespoke forms and work-flows to capture clinical and patient related data. The importance of clinical research cannot be over emphasised. Our commitment to pioneering research and our on-going evaluation of the quality of our service delivery, supports our ethos and our continuing aspiration to excellence.