2018 successful grant recipients

Congratulations to the Wishbone Foundation 2018 orthopaedic research grant recipients

Twelve research projects have been awarded full or partial funding from the Wishbone Foundation.

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Project leader - Mr Joe Baker, Waikato Hospital / University of Auckland

Pelvic Incidence – Contributions from a Pelvic Osseous Architecture

This research seeks to explore the osseous determinants of the pelvic incidence and identify anatomic structures which are potentially modifiable surgically. It uses a pelvic model developed by the School of Engineering at the University of Auckland. The research is a collaboration between the School of Engineering and the orthopaedic staff at Waikato and Auckland City Hospitals.

Project leader – Mr David Bartle, Tauranga Hospital

Developing a Haptic Simulator for Education in Orthopaedic Surgery

This project seeks to use haptic simulator technology to enhance orthopaedic surgical training at all levels in New Zealand.

The applicant has been working in collaboration with the Otorhinolaryngology Department of the University of Melbourne, which has developed a haptic simulator for preparing the bone bed for cochlear implants. He aims to further develop this technology and apply it to orthopaedic surgery.

The funding is for the purchase of the necessary hardware and software, and a small amount of statistical analysis. 


Project leader - Dr Matt Bowman, Tauranga Hospital

Septic arthritis of the native knee - Arthroscopy versus Arthrotomy

This research project compares the outcomes of patients who have had either arthroscopy (keyhole washout) or arthrotomy (open washout) for septic arthritis of the knee.

Matt will be gathering results from Middlemore Hospital, to add to results already available from Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals. The funding is for the collection of data, to enable a more accurate idea of the research questions and statistical analysis.


Project leaders – Emeritus Professor Neil Broom, University of Auckland and Dr Peter Robertson, Auckland City Hospital

How traumatic loading influences intervertebral disc disruption and herniation

This project considers whether traumatic loading influences intervertebral disc disruption and herniation, using the ovine lumbar motion segment model. It is a continuation and extension of previous, very important, research.


Project leader - Mr Haemish Crawford, Starship Children's Hospital

International Growing Spine Study Group Site Registration

This funding will allow Starship Children's Hospital to be a registered site as part of the growing spine study group – an international study group of 24 sites which enter consenting patients into a centralised database.  The applicant is an active member of this group and is involved in a project on the use of Mehta casts to correct sagittal alignment in the growing spine.


Project leader - Mr Haemish Crawford, Starship Children's Hospital

Long-term follow up of children with osteomyelitis and overwhelming sepsis

This project aims to report the long-term outcomes of up to 110 children with osteomyelitis and overwhelming sepsis admitted to Starship Children’s Hospital since 2000, in collaboration with the infectious disease and respiratory departments.

It will collate hospital admission data as well as assess children’s respiratory function.  It is hoped the research will lead to a better understanding of the organisms involved as well as the immunological systems of these children.

The funding will mainly go towards respiratory function tests and travel to patients outside of Auckland or to bring them to Starship.


Project leader - Dr Ryan Gao, Middlemore Hospital

A prospective randomised trial comparing oral versus intravenous tranexamic acid in shoulder arthroplasty

This funding is a part contribution to a randomised trial comparing oral and intravenous administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) in minimising bleeding during shoulder replacement surgeries.

The study has received full ethical approval, and is a registered clinical trial on the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.  Patient recruitment has begun.


Project leader - Dr Chuan Kong Koh, Southland Hospital

A Multi-Centre Randomised Controlled Trial Comparing Infection Rate Between Buried and Proud K-wires in Paediatric Distal Humerus Fractures

Seed funding has been granted to conduct a randomised controlled trial comparing the infection rate between buried and proud k-wires for distal humeral fractures in children.

There is limited evidence to determine best practice for wire management in lateral condyle and supracondylar fractures.  This project is highly likely to provide vital information which will likely influence practice internationally.

The funding will cover statistical work, pamphlet translation and setting up a server.


Project leader - Associate Professor Paul Monk, Auckland District Health Board / University of Auckland

Developing Arthroplasty Skills Using a Training Model for acetabular Cup Placement

This study will trial a training tool, involving experienced and inexperienced surgeons, that can provide immediate feedback on the accuracy of cup placement. Accurate placement of the acetabular cup into the socket is an important part of a hip joint replacement operation.

The long-term goal is to refine this into a simulation, which can be used to train registrars on how to place these cups, by reproducing the conditions of a live operation.


Project leader - Dr Stephanie Nunes Da Paz, Middlemore Hospital

Microbiological contamination of lead gowns in orthopaedic theatres – longitudinal sampling throughout the cleaning cycle to monitor the bacterial growth

This project will monitor the bacterial growth on lead gowns worn in orthopaedic theatres to protect clinical staff from radiation exposure. The gowns, which are shared among staff, are professionally cleaned every two months.  

The gowns can be a reservoir for micro-organisms but there is minimal literature on how often they should be cleaned and by what method. The study will assess the amount of contamination remaining after cleaning, and the subsequent buildup of bacteria until they are next cleaned.


Project leader – Mr Rowan Schouten, Christchurch Hospital

Can MRI screening for BMO identify New Zealand adult professional cricket bowlers at risk of developing lumbar stress fractures?

This project will look at whether MRI screening of New Zealand cricket fast bowlers can identify those at risk of developing lumbar stress fractures, and potentially prevent these injuries.


Project leader - Dr Neal Singleton, Tauranga Hospital

Volar plate fixation versus non-operative management of distal radius fractures in elderly

This award-winning study assessed two very different methods of managing the common injury of wrist fractures in older people. It compares an operation and the use of plates, with the use of a cast alone. The study found no notable difference in outcome, which has implications for patients (reduction of risk) and health systems (reduction of cost).

Funding has been granted for finalising statistical analysis of data from the study.



With your help, we can continue to support leading orthopaedic research in New Zealand.  Contact us today and help reduce people's pain and suffering.

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