2019 successful grant recipients

Congratulations to the Wishbone Foundation 2019 orthopaedic research grant recipients

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


Project leader - Matt Bowman, North Shore Hospital
Noise exposure and noise induced hearing loss in orthopaedics

The orthopaedic operating theatre can be a noisy place and surgeons and theatre staff work in an environment which may increase the risk of hearing loss.  Impulse noise from saws and hammering in arthroplasty can cause minor damage to the ear. These insults accumulate over the course of a career resulting in hearing loss. The project aims to measure the levels of noise during arthroplasty to evaluate the sound levels produced by modern orthopaedic instruments.  Audiometry testing will also be used to examine evidence of noise induced hearing loss in orthopaedic surgeons and theatre staff. 

Audiometric testing will be carried out using a sound dosimeter during routine primary total knee joint replacements and total hip joint replacements. Sound levels from operations using a standard stainless-steel mallet will be compared to those using a surgical grade orthopaedic mallet with a Teflon covered head.  Surgeons will then be surveyed to obtain feedback about the use of this new instrument. This is a novel project investigating an issue which has not been investigated before.

Project leader - Scott Bolam, Auckland City Hospital
Evaluating Lactoferrin in the Prevention of Prosthetic Joint Infections

Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a devastating complication following joint replacement.  It causes significant medical problems for the patient and burdens the healthcare system with high treatment costs.  The study proposes the use of lactoferrin, a safe anti-biofilm agent, as an adjuvant treatment that can potentially help to prevent biofilm-based infections on implant surfaces.  A pre-clinical study will determine whether a lactoferrin surgical wash can be used prophylactically to prevent prosthetic joint infection in orthopaedic surgery.

Project leader - Vikesh Gupta, Whangarei Hospital
Spine Adipose Index (SAI) is an Independent Predictor of Deep Infection of the Spine

The research sets out to identify if a standardised measure of lumbar subcutaneous fat thickness, called the Spine Adipose Index (SAI), is a risk factor for deep primary incisional surgical site infection after posterior instrumented lumbar spinal fusion (PILSF) surgery.