The Joint Replacement group at UCSF performs both basic science research as well as clinical outcomes and cost effective analysis of total hip and total knee replacement. The group is investigating the outcomes of cartilage resurfacing techniques to determine which patients will most benefit from novel cartilage replacement strategies.
They are evaluating the clinical outcomes of hip and knee arthroplasty, with long term follow up of patients 10 to 15 years following their initial procedure. The group is also collaborating with the UCSF Musculoskeletal imaging group to evaluate novel imaging techniques to evaluate hip and knee arthritis.
Biomaterials used in joint replacement
As younger and more active patients require joint replacement, improved bearing surfaces have been developed to provide greater wear resistance and durability of the implants. Dr. Ries in collaboration with Professor Lisa Pruitt at UC Berkeley have formed a polymer research group to study the performance of newer highly crosslinked polyethylene bearing surfaces used in hip and knee replacements. Cross linking improves the wear resistance of the material, but can also reduce its strength. The Polymer group has studied a number of polymer processing methods which can be used to optimize both the wear resistance and mechanical properties of highly crosslinked polyethylene used in joint replacements in an effort to further improve the longevity of total hip and knee arthroplasty.
Clinical Outcomes in Arthroplasty
An Arthroplasty outcomes database was established at UCSF in 1997 to evaluate the quality and results of total joint arthroplasty. Drs. Vail, Ries, Bozic and Jergesen contribute clinical outcome data to the database. Information from the database has been used as a source of information for over 40 peer reviewed journal publications on a wide range of clinically relevant topics in primary and revision total hip and knee arthroplasty.