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Advancing orthopedic science and care.

The UArizona Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is dedicated to research that improves lives all around the world. Our long and outstanding history of innovative research includes the “Volz Wrist” — the first wrist prosthesis used clinically in the United States — the internationally recognized work of pediatric orthopedic surgeon Donald P. Speer, MD. In recent years, federal funding has supported research on bone healing (John A. Szivek, PhD), carpal tunnel syndrome (Zong-Ming Li, PhD) and nerve regeneration (John Elfar, MD).

UArizona Orthopedic Research Labs

Our orthopedic research has grown to encompass many programmatic areas: biomaterials, biomechanics, hand and wrist, sports medicine, foot and ankle, biomechanical testing and anatomic studies, to name just a few. Together, these areas of focus form the Robert G. Volz, MD, Orthopaedic Research Laboratories.

Biomaterial Laboratory

Led by Dr. David Margolis, the Biomaterial Lab main areas of research include implantable sensors to monitor fracture healing and bone quality, tissue engineering from adipose-derived stem cells and advanced biomaterials and sensors that can be used to rapidly regenerate large amounts of bone and produce cartilage tissue.

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Foot & Ankle Research Laboratory

The Foot & Ankle Biomechanics Lab, led by Dr. Daniel Latt, uses ex vivo (cadaveric) testing, ultrasound strain imaging, movement analysis, computational modeling and patient-reported outcomes to improve our understanding of and treatments for disorders that impact the alignment of the footing ankle. 

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Hand Research Laboratory

Led by Zong-Ming Li, PhD, current research of the Hand Research Laboratory (HandLab) focuses on biomechanics and sensorimotor function with special focus on carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis of the hand and wrist. Studies make use of motion analysis, CT, MRI and ultrasound imaging, electromyography, robotics, and computational modeling. 

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Vice Chair for Research: Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Zong-Ming Li, PhD, is the William and Sylvia Rubin Chair of Orthopaedic Research, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Associate Director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, leads the universityʼs efforts in musculoskeletal research. Dr. Li's research interests include arthritis, biomechanics, clinical outcomes, computational modeling, hand and wrist, human movement, ligaments and tendons, MSK imaging, nerve and rehabilitation.

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Dr. Zong-Ming Li, PhD

Arthritis research team at the University of Arizona

Partnering to Eradicate Arthritis

The UArizona Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is closely allied with the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, a Center of Excellence in Health Sciences and one of the first institutions to employ a multi-disciplinary approach to combat arthritis, rheumatic, and bone-related diseases.