There is a wide range of basic and clinical research in the fields of epidemiology, engineering, genetics, cell biology and clinical trials, based at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences on the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and John Radcliffe Hospital sites. Oxford hosts an NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit.
Basic researchers are investigating the physiology and pathology of musculoskeletal cells including osteoblasts, osteoclasts, osteocytes, tenocytes and chondrocytes. Research groups are studying the pathogenesis of bone and arthritic disorders including trauma, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. There are programmes in regeneration medicine/tissue engineering, molecular pharmacology, musculoskeletal genetics and epigenetics and bone oncology. Furthermore, a number of surgical and pharmacological clinical trials are currently being conducted e.g. AIM (ankle injury management), CSAW (shoulder pain), KAT (a pragmatic randomised controlled trial evaluating four knee replacement technologies), TABUL (giant cell arteritis), TOPKAT (total or partial knee arthroplasty) & UKUFF rotator cuff surgery trials. Oxford musculoskeletal engineering team’s research interests include joint design, kinematics of hip/knee, surgical outcomes, RSA studies (Roentgen Stereophotogrammetric Analysis) & finite element analysis. Musculoskeletal epidemiologists are involved in collecting data from various cohorts to understand musculoskeletal diseases and conditions across populations and over the course of time. Finally, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, carrying out world-leading research into pathogenesis and treatment of arthritic and related disorders including Rheumatoid Arthritis and osteoarthritis, has moved into a new purpose-built facility on the Old Road Campus in Oxford.