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Orthopedic and Rheumatology Physicians Launch new Center to Study Surgical Treatments and Outcomes in Rheumatic Patients

New York, NY—April 23, 2018

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) announces the addition of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center (IROC), a new center of excellence in rheumatology focused on research to improve orthopedic surgical outcomes for patients with rheumatic diseases.                                                                                     

As a world leader in both orthopedics and rheumatology, HSS has the unique opportunity for physicians across both specialties to collaborate in research and integrate findings into patient care. While collaboration has always occurred during the history of HSS, the IROC is the first formalized center created for this sole purpose.

"As director, I hope to establish better data collection tools and resources to continue our research in perioperative medicine," said Susan M. Goodman, MD, rheumatologist and director of the IROC. "One of the issues we are investigating is how patients with a rheumatic disease respond to a hip or knee replacement compared to those who do not have a rheumatic condition."

Dr. Goodman and her team are currently collecting joint tissue from patients with rheumatoid arthritis undergoing joint replacement surgery. During the typical hip or knee replacement, joint tissue is excised, and the IROC team has incorporated the access to tissues into their study design. By examining the tissue, the researchers are able to simultaneously study the clinical manifestation of the disease along with the biologic information including genetic information.

"As physicians, it is clear our problems are easier to solve when we work together," said HSS hip and knee surgeon Michael L. Parks, MD. "We study multi-dimensional issues that require varying perspectives from a diverse group of experts. Working together with Dr. Goodman and the rest of the IROC team will continue to ensure the best surgical outcomes for our patients."

Dr. Goodman and her collaborators have shown that patients from impoverished neighborhoods have poorer hip and knee replacement outcomes than patients from wealthier neighborhoods. However, education seems to be protective, so that those patients with higher education do just as well as those from wealthy neighborhoods. As part of the ongoing collaboration at the IROC, Dr. Goodman hopes to identify additional medical and social factors that contribute to poor healthcare outcomes as well as factors such as education that seem to improve outcomes.

"We want to optimize outcomes for everyone," said Dr. Goodman. "Regardless of financial situations, people should have the opportunity to live a pain-free life and enjoy everyday activities that many of us might take for granted."

 

About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients from 80 countries and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute was formed in 2015 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices; the global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969, and in 2017 HSS made 130 invention submissions (more than 2x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute provides continuing medical curriculum to more than 15,000 subscribing musculoskeletal healthcare professionals in 110 countries. Through HSS Global, the institution is collaborating with medical centers worldwide to advance the quality and value of care and to make world-class HSS care more accessible to more people.

 

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