The support from our donors, grateful patients and funds matched by Research Manitoba has put Concordia’s Hip and Knee Institute a step ahead in delivering world-class treatment and research for Manitobans suffering from hip and knee pain and disability. Our campaign to advance research and education began in 2020 with our Stepping Forward Campaign. Today we begin building on that success by…

 

Stepping Farther Together

Advancing Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Research at Concordia

 

Concordia Foundation Announces Arthroplasty Research Chair 

 

June 1, 2021

 

Roger Gripp, Chair of the Board of the Concordia Foundation announced that we are Stepping Farther Together on the next phase of our journey to advance hip and knee replacement surgery and research by naming Dr. Thomas Turgeon the Arthroplasty Research Chair at Concordia’s Hip and Knee Replacement Institute.

 

“Orthopedic surgeries have and continue to be an important part of the purpose of Concordia Hospital and we are very pleased about the announcement of the Arthroplasty Research Chair by the Concordia Foundation.   Over the past year, the Concordia Hospital Board of Directors Research and Ethics committee has approved and supported approximately 36 orthopedic research studies,” says Michael Woelcke, Chair, Concordia Hospital, Board of Directors.

“Research is at the forefront of quality patient care, patient safety and best practice and is the keystone of advancement in orthopedic surgery.  Without the contribution of research it is not possible to progress and consistently improve. Furthermore, research at Concordia is in alignment with Concordia’s Purpose and Values..as a centre of excellence committed to the provisions of quality , compassionate care. Concordia is truly blessed to work with the surgical team.”

Research managed by the Chair will improve operating room efficiencies, reduce barriers to access, and accelerate innovative approaches to healing the growing number of Manitobans living with debilitating hip and knee pain.

 

Data from research — including clinical trials, hip and knee implant analysis and laboratory testing, conducted right here at home and in partnership with leading institutions worldwide — will ensure that new processes, techniques and technologies put into practice by Concordia researchers will lead to the best possible outcomes for patients, says Dr. Turgeon.

 

“Innovative surgical techniques and technologies, better access to health care services and support, advanced training and education to ensure our team is creating the best outcomes for the most people will make a huge difference – all of these are high priorities for our team.”

 

Dr. Turgeon is the ideal person to lead Concordia’s hip and knee research for the next five years, says Anupam Kothari, Chair of the Research Committee at the Concordia Hip and Knee Research Institute.

 

“He has performed over 4,000 hip or knee replacement surgeries over the past 15 years. He has led, conducted, or contributed to dozens of research projects examining hip and knee replacement surgery from virtually every angle. He is a teacher and mentor. His leadership has helped elevate the Concordia Hip and Knee Institute into the unique, ground-breaking organization it is today: one of the only hip and knee institutes in the world where clinicians, researchers and engineers work together under one roof.”

 

Dr. Turgeon has been the head of research at Concordia for eight years, as well as Fellowship Director, Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Surgery, Rady School of Medicine, The University of Manitoba as well as Associate Professor, University of Manitoba, Rady School of Medicine.

His research disciplines include surgery, biomedical engineers, and biochemical engineering.

 

In his role as Arthroplasty Research Chair, Dr. Turgeon will manage research funds raised by the Concordia Foundation, including gifts from generous donors and matching funds from Research Manitoba. Last year, the foundation’s Stepping Forward campaign raised over $250,000 in support of the Research Chair. Research Manitoba donated an additional $250,000. The Foundation will soon launch a new campaign, Stepping Farther Together, to ensure the Chair and the team has what it needs in the years ahead.

 

Funds raised from these campaigns will give Concordia’s hip and knee research team the flexibility to pursue questions they need to answer urgently without having to complete often  lengthy grant application processes, and achieve preliminary results that can help them secure grants and additional funding from government and institutional partners for a more significant impact in the future.

 

Thanks to the enormous giving spirit of so many Manitobans, the Hip and Knee Institute will be able to build its team, accelerate the pace of research, publish findings faster, and connect sooner with partners worldwide who can help us bring innovative care to Manitobans when they need us most.

 

He adds, “When we look at the impact that hip and knee surgery have on patients, there are very few things that come anywhere close to the relatively small cost relative to the massive improvement in quality of life and the impact on people’s quality of life. The Concordia Foundation is proud to support and empower this team of dedicated researchers and grateful to the donors and patients and to Research Manitoba for making this a reality.”

 

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Concordia Foundation on this important project. Advancements in care require research in many areas. This project will support our shared commitment to excellence by enabling Dr. Turgeon and his team to accelerate their research to help Manitobans get back on their feet and improve their lives.” Ms. Karen Dunlop, CEO, Research Manitoba.

 

Funding for research like this is especially important now.

 

For one thing, the need for hip and knee replacement surgery did not go away when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020. Back then, there was already a waitlist. When we paused surgeries to comply with public health orders, that list started to grow — and grow.

 

Our team of hip and knee surgeons is working hard to catch up, but the number of people needing hip and knee surgery continues to rise by at least 6% each year. This Chair and the fundraising campaigns we’ve launched to support it are concrete steps towards saying no to pain, and saying yes to helping people struggling to walk, work, play, and live their lives to the fullest.

 

The Concordia Hip and Knee Institute was established by Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg in 2009 to serve as a Center of Excellence with the goal of advancing the field of knee and hip joint replacement through research, education and clinical outcome improvements.   The Concordia Foundation serves as the fundraising body for the Institute as well as for the Arthroplasty Research Chair. 

Registered Charity:   13036 3336 RR0001

Research Manitoba is a provincial funding agency, which strives to champion the Manitoba research community, supports early career researchers and graduate students in Manitoba and coordinates funding of research in health, natural and social sciences, engineering, and the humanities. Our organization also fosters partnerships to advance and strengthen Manitoba’s resources, assets, and innovations. Research Manitoba’s goal is to become the most improved province in research.

About Dr. Turgeon

Dr. Turgeon’s principal interests involve the outcome of hip and knee placement patients. He leads and participates in prospective and retrospective clinical trials assessing these patients. He also conducts research into the joint replacement implants themselves. This involves the assessment of new implants before clinical use, assessment of failed implants and the assessment of clinical success of implanted patients using advanced assessment such as radiostereometric analysis (RSA).

 

  • Fields of Application: Biomedical Aspects of Human Health, Pathogenesis and Treatment of Diseases

 

  • Disciplines Trained In: Surgery, Statistics and Evaluation

 

  • Areas of Research: Arthritis / Osteo-Arthritis, Community Health / Public Health, Joints (Articulations), Metals and Alloys, Orthoses and Prostheses

 

  • Research Specialization Keywords: additive manufacturing, failure analysis, hip arthroplasty, implant design, Implant Retrieval, knee arthroplasty, radiostereometric analysis, statistics

 

  • Research Disciplines: Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Epidemiology

 

 

Education

 

  • University of Western Ontario, Bachelor’s Science and Chemistry
  • Master’s Equivalent, Doctor of Medicine, University of Western Ontario
  • Surgical Residency, Orthopedic Surgery, University of Saskatchewan
  • Certificate, Adult Reconstructive Surgery – Fellow, Adult Reconstructive Surgery, Arthritis Surgery Centre of San Diego.
  • Master’s Thesis, Public Health, Epidemiology, San Diego State University

 

 

 

 

The Arthroplasty Research Chair

 

  • Research managed by the Arthroplasty Research Chair will improve operating room efficiencies, reduce barriers to access, and accelerate innovative approaches to healing the growing number of Manitobans living with debilitating hip and knee pain.

 

  • Turgeon and Concordia’s hip and knee researchers have investigated why some hip and knee implants fail — research that can lead to new designs, manufacturing processes and surgical techniques that result in more comfortable, longer-lasting implants.

 

  • They have also been studying the benefits of bilateral surgeries, where a person with two damaged knees has them both operated on simultaneously.

 

  • Soon, the Chair and their team of researchers hope to launch a pilot study to understand how socioeconomic status impacts access to care.

 

  • Beyond that, there is a whole world of surgical robots to explore: mechanical assistants that may improve surgical outcomes thanks to their incredible precision.

 

The Concordia Hip and Knee Institute

  • The Hip and Knee Institute serves 1,500+ patients a year from Manitoba and parts of Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut.

 

  • Hip and knee replacements are more effective at improving quality of life than transplants, dialysis, and bypass grafting for the heart.

 

  • We are home to the Reverse Hip Replacement. Only 24 people in the world have had this experimental procedure aimed at reducing painful joint dislocations, and they are all from right here in Manitoba!
  • Over the past 15 years, our Implant Retrieval Analysis Program (IRAP) has collected more than 4,000 implants at our implant retrieval lab—only one of two in Canada. We have published more than a dozen research studies involving implants, helping surgeons in Winnipeg and worldwide.

Dr. Turgeon in his own words

 

Research innovation

 

We stand on the shoulders of giants. There have been researchers before us who have developed the implants or the concept of the implants that we use today and have evolved. Many of the implants that we use today are not drastically different, but they are vastly improved.

 

Technology has advanced in terms of how we assess the devices – for example, we assess how we use them in the operating room and the ultimate impact on the patient. There has been a focus on how we perform the operations using the devices. We want to also focus on doing things differently to change and improve outcomes as well as recognizing that there are differences in access to care and providing care to the people who need it and who have not historically been able to have access to it.

 

Professional achievements

 

In reflecting on this, it is really being part of the development of the Hip and Knee Institute being one of the founders of the Orthopedic Innovation Centre, which is the research arm. Those two things have allowed us to realize so much of the potential here and bring on staff from Manitoba to carry out that work and help researchers realize their potential.

 

Arthroplasty Researchers realize that one of the key things with research and surgery is that this is a team effort, and you have to have a great team to be able to carry this out.

 

The development of the team, both on the clinical side, but especially the research side that we’ve developed, is second to none. We have a phenomenal team that works tremendously well and tremendously hard to make great strides in this area. Having played a small part in putting this together has been tremendously rewarding to me.

 

How does the Concordia Hip and Knee Institute compare to other similar organizations around the world?

 

We are definitely unique in Canada. We are probably only one of two or three centers in North America with the breadth of work we do. Other programs have specialties, but we have a wide range of work such as clinical work, implant retrieval work, implant analysis work, and assessment. Working with engineers as well as our clinical program is part of our unique programming. You could probably count on your hands the number of programs in the world with everything that we have.

 

Having a Chair helps to find and support all those components rather than looking at silos. It allows us to tie them together and leverage them to be an even more significant player in the national and international stage of the research types.

 

The impact of hip and knee replacement surgery and research

 

To put this into context: One of the things that define humans as a species is our ability to walk on two feet. It frees up our hands. It’s why we could be hunter-gatherers and collect food while we’re able to develop tools because we can walk with two feet. When you lose one limb that’s functional, you lose that capacity.

 

If you have a quadruped like an animal that is lame on one leg, they could still walk quite well with only three. They lift one. In a way, they go. We don’t have that capacity, so when you lose a limb as a bipedal human, it has a vast impact on your quality of life and your ability to carry out activities.

 

I think of the patients we have worked with under the Operation Walk banner, the humanitarian organization founded here at Concordia. Delivering new knees or hips to people in a developing country and serving an underserved population has been gratifying to share this expertise with others.

 

The total impact that hip and knee replacement have on all patients with disabling arthritis is profound.

 

What gives you the most satisfaction in your work?

 

That is hard to say since it all provides deep satisfaction. This type of surgery has a dramatic and almost immediate impact. I enjoy having that direct connection with patients and creating an abrupt positive change – a very dramatic change to better someone’s life. To have a patient who hobbled into my office a few months ago – have surgery and have them walk back into my office six weeks later after surgery with restored function that quickly – is tremendously fulfilling.

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