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Clinical Research Division

Clinical Research Division

Our researchers and staff continue to grow on the division’s history as a leader in the fields of anesthesia and pain management research. Notably, our research into regional anesthesia for total joint replacement surgeries has contributed to an overall increase in regional anesthesia use throughout HSS. In 2017, more than 80 percent of our joint replacement cases were done under regional anesthesia compared to only 20 percent nationwide. Learn more about our achievements, researcher stories, publications, and what's on the horizon in our Research Report: 2020.

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Citations in high-impact
research in 2021
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Active studies
managed in 2021
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published in 2021


Research Staff

The Clinical Research Division provides comprehensive support and management of the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain Management’s diverse clinical research portfolio. Our dedicated team manages multidisciplinary partnerships both internally and externally to provide a better understanding of regional anesthesia and analgesia care for orthopedic patients.

Students and others interested in volunteering or joining the Clinical Research Division should contact:

Marla Sharp, MPH, MA, CSSBB
Director, Clinical Research
Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain Management

Clinical Research Initiatives

The Clinical Research Division oversees more than 60 active clinical trials at any given time, with additional studies continually in development. Visit the HSS Clinical Research Database for more information on our studies. Some of our areas of investigation include:


Our physiology research aims to find a better understanding of the interactions between a patient’s underlying physiology and anesthetic/surgical techniques.

Perioperative outcomes

Our investigators study 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.

Pediatric anesthesia

Researchers focuses on the safety and efficacy of regional anesthesia in the pediatric orthopedic population. HSS’ pediatric patient volume provides a unique opportunity to measure outcomes such as side effects, rare complications and patient satisfaction. Two of our physician investigators are involved in the Pediatric Regional Anesthesia Network (PRAN), a multi-institutional tool dedicated to understanding trends into regional anesthesia for pediatric patients.

Point-of-care ultrasound

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) skills are becoming increasingly vital for critical care specialists and anesthesiologists. Our research focuses on the impact of incorporating point-of-care ultrasound education into resident and fellowship curricula.

Database research

Our database research is driven to understand trends and analyze potential links between perioperative care and the recovery process.

Regional anesthesia

Nationwide, only 20 percent total-joint replacement surgeries are done using regional anesthesia compared to the 80% done at HSS. Our research helps determine the best uses for regional anesthesia techniques in the orthopedic setting in hopes of increasing its use nationwide for orthopedic procedures.

Multimodal analgesia

Due to its association with lower opioid use, multimodal analgesia techniques are being investigated across many replacement surgeries. Our department hopes to lead discussions and change prescription habits among surgical healthcare providers by investigating multimodal analgesia techniques and their impact on patient satisfaction.

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathways

ERAS pathways have been implemented across Europe and have been linked to lower opioid prescription rates and less pain following surgery. At HSS, our investigators are examining the impact of ERAS pathways across several service lines.


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