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WHAT – Types of Research?

The main objective of orthopaedic research is to improve lives...


The main objective of orthopaedic research is to improve lives.

This can be achieved by building on existing knowledge or finding better ways to do things. Better ways to operate, to rehabilitate or both through better methods and materials.

SSRI focuses its expertise on one region of the body, the shoulder and elbow.

This gives us a clearly defined role in orthopaedic research. But what types of research do we undertake? The answer is several. And the difference between them lies fundamentally in what the research will be used for. We often begin by asking ourselves, will this research help us understand a real world problem and solve it? Or extend existing knowledge?

Research undertaken at SSRI falls under one of the following categories:


Clinical research is also known as applied research. This type of research is used to answer a specific question that has direct applications to the world. This is the type of research that solves a problem.


This sub-field of orthopaedic research involves the application of engineering principles to examination of the mechanical behaviour of the human musculoskeletal system. Topics of interest include mechanical testing of orthopaedic tissues and structures, medical implant design and testing, kinesiology (the study of human motion), and tissue engineering.


This kind of research is quite often driven by the simple desire to expand knowledge on a particular topic. In other words, curiosity is key. Such research tends not to be applicable to the real world in a direct way, but instead enhances our understanding of the world. That being said, we shouldn’t underestimate the value basic research has. Without it, many of the greatest scientific discoveries could never be made.



Because hundreds of topics come under the umbrella of shoulder and elbow orthopaedic research, SSRI tends to focus on the following key areas:

  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Trauma
  • Instability
  • The Rotator Cuff
  • Elbow Replacement


Artificial bones

One reason artificial bones are used is that the use of human subjects may not be appropriate for what is planned. For example, artificial clavicles could be used to test a theory regarding whether adding surgical cement would strengthen a repair compared with simply using screws. No ethics committee would ever allow orthopaedic surgeons to operate on people then test the strength and integrity of their repairs by applying force to their patient’s clavicles sufficient enough to break them. Simulation of fractures using a machine to apply a controlled amount of force and substitution of real clavicles with artificial ones is clearly the appropriate choice.


Human corpses (cadavers) are routinely used to test device implantation, instrument performance, and efficacy of surgical procedures. Cadaver studies also allow surgeons to provide invaluable feedback to engineers on how to improve implant and instrument design and how to refine surgical techniques and methods.

Sydney Shoulder Research Institute


In Research - Current

Biomechanical cadaveric study on displacement following AC Joint stabilisation: a comparison of three constructs

In Research - Current

Long term follow-up of “Nexel” total elbow replacement

In Research - Current

Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: Comparative Study of New Technologies

In Research - Current

Muscle advancement in massive rotator cuff repair

In Research - Completed

The TXA 2 Study (Systemic Tranexamic Acid in Shoulder Arthroscopy and Rotator Cuff Repair)

TXA Study (Systemic Tranexamic Acid in Shoulder Arthroplasty
In Research - Completed

The TXA Study (Systemic Tranexamic Acid in Shoulder Arthroplasty)

In Research - Completed

Precision and Accuracy of Pumps used in Shoulder Arthroplasty

The FUSE Study (Fitness band Used in Shoulder Evaluation)
In Research - Completed

The FUSE Study – Fitness band Used in Shoulder Evaluation

The VAULT Study - Glenoid Version Measurement
In Research - Completed

The VAULT Study – Glenoid Version Measurement

In Research - Long-Term Projects

Total Shoulder Replacement – Long Term Follow Up with the Constant Score

In Research - Long-Term Projects

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement – Long Term Follow Up with the Constant Score

In Research - Completed

Comparative study of physician applied and patient reported Constant Scores utilising bathroom scales to derive force measurements

In Research - Completed

Rate of P Acnes in arthritic shoulders undergoing primary total shoulder replacement surgery using a strict specimen collection technique

In Research - Completed

Improving medial footprint coverage in double row cuff repair using FiberTape

In Research - Completed

Modified Biceps Repair

Propionibacterium acnes
In Research - Completed

Propionibacterium acnes contamination in shoulder surgery

In Research - Completed

Early mobilisation following rotator cuff repair

In Research - Completed

Retrospective Review of the use of the Rota-Lok system for massive rotator cuff repairs

The VAULT Study (Reliability of Glenoid Version Measurement on 3D-corrected axial CT scan)
In Research - Completed

Humeral Head to Greater Tuberosity Angle Study