The Research Division is crucial to the Department of Anesthesiology’s commitment to bettering the HSS patient experience throughout all stages of orthopedic surgery and pain management. We conduct and publish high-quality clinical research focused on improving the care of patients with musculoskeletal disorders through the pre-, peri- and post-operative process.
Our department has a long and diverse history in performing important and scientifically rigorous clinical research. Our findings support our position as trailblazers in the forefront of regional anesthesia and pain management for orthopedic surgery. When Nigel Sharrock, MB, ChB, became the departmental director in 1986, regional anesthesia was employed for less than 15% of all surgical procedures. Today, that percentage has greatly increased, and regional anesthesia techniques are administered for approximately 90% of all surgical procedures at HSS.
Today, under the leadership of Jacques T. Yadeau, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical Research and Ellen Soffin, MD, PhD, Associate Director of Clinical Research, we support a cadre of physician scientists who are dedicated to optimizing patient care, advancing patient safety initiatives, and enhancing the anesthetic experience for orthopedic patients of all ages.
The Research Division oversees more than 60 active clinical trials at any given time, with additional studies continually in development.
We are proud that a large proportion of our studies are randomized controlled trials, widely considered the “gold standard” for clinical research. We also have a major and growing commitment to the innovative field of database research. Our physician scientists consistently publish in top-ranked high-impact journals, such as Anesthesiology, Pain, and American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Some areas of investigation include:
Research aims to develop a better understanding of the interactions between a patient’s underlying physiology and anesthetic/surgical techniques. Current studies investigate the relationship between hypotensive epidural anesthesia and cerebral oxygen saturation, examine the physiological effects of neuraxial anesthesia on orthopedic patients, and explore the pathophysiology of deep vein thrombosis.
Some of these research efforts are directed towards investigating the effects of nerve blocks and the role of additives to local anesthetics to improve nerve blocks. Other studies investigate ways of minimizing the use of opioids, and strive to identify serum biomarkers and psychological stratification for patients at risk for developing post-operative pain.
Peri-operative outcomes research seeks to elucidate questions related to complications surrounding surgery and identification of factors minimizing such risk. Our department has become one of the leaders in research on the relationship between anesthesia and outcomes, thus impacting patient care in orthopedic surgery both nationally and internationally through publications and guideline formation.
Research focuses on the safety and efficacy of regional anesthesia in the pediatric orthopedic population. In 2015, the Department of Anesthesiology performed over 2,500 regional anesthetics in patients aged 18 years and younger. This patient volume provides a unique opportunity to measure outcomes such as side effects, rare complications, and patient satisfaction.
Main Office Number
Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th St.
New York, NY 10021
Memtsoudis S, Cozowicz C et al. Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine Guideline on Preoperative Screening and Assessment of Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Anesthesia & Analgesia. 2016 June 1. [Epub ahead of print.]
Haskins S et al. Ultrasound-Guided Regional Blocks: A New Paradigm in High-Risk Patients? Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology. 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpa.2016.04.004
YaDeau JT, Gordon MA, Goytizolo EA, Lin Y, Fields KG et al. Buprenorphine, Clonidine, Dexamethasone, and Ropivacaine for Interscalene Nerve Blockade: A Prospective, Randomized, Blinded, Ropivacaine Dose-Response Study. Pain Med. 2016 May;17(5):940-60.