Since its inception in 1970, the department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Boston Medical Center has been a leader in musculoskeletal research and innovation, focused on improving outcomes for patients suffering from degenerative conditions of the hip and knee.

Research Areas

Optimizing joint replacement access and results in underserved, diverse, and vulnerable patient populations

Improving functional outcomes following hip and knee replacement surgery


Skeletal biology and bone health

Prevention of venous thromboembolism

Hip and knee prosthetic implant design

Enhanced recovery after total joint replacement

Diversity and equity in joint replacement care


Research Project Manager: Catherine Lafferty

Research Collaborations


Pulmonary Embolism Prevention after Hip and Knee Replacement (PEPPER) is a national, randomized controlled trial across 26 health centers that seeks to determine which of three blood thinners — aspirin, warfarin, or rivaroxaban — is most effective for patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery.

Ultimately, results from the study will provide information to surgeons to help balance the risk of blood clots after surgery against the risk of bleeding associated with blood thinner administration.

The study has enrolled more than 15,500 patients as of the end of 2022, and it aims to recruit 19,500 across U.S. and Canada. 

Shared Decision Making in Hip and Knee Arthritis

The department of Orthopedic Surgery at BMC is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and other sites across the country in a Learning Collaborative to offer shared decision making (SDM) decision aids (DA) to our patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.

SDM is a patient-centered approach to care in which clinicians and patients work together to make healthcare decisions aligned with each patient's individual and specific circumstances, goals, and priorities. Prior studies have shown that SDM results in higher patient satisfaction and engagement in care, as well as better health outcomes.

SDM decision aids are a type of patient education that offer information on both non-operative and operative treatments for hip and knee arthritis. Our decision aids are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Haitian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.