The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has dedicated significant resources to the pursuit of clinical, translational, and basic science research.

Our state-of-the-art Thompson Lab, housed on the fourth floor of Missouri Orthopaedic Institute (MOI), includes ~12,000 square feet solely dedicated to research for a team of more than 50 researchers representing 13 different specialties.

The lab houses Basic Science and Translational Research, Skeletal Morphology Research, Bioengineering Research, and Clinical Research teams and facilities. MOI houses over 40 clinical faculty specializing in sports medicine (primary care and surgical), joint replacement, pediatrics, hip and knee, foot and ankle, shoulder, hand, spine, trauma, limb preservation, regenerative medicine (Mizzou BioJoint® Center), physical medicine and rehabilitation, and diagnostic imaging.

More than 200 other health care professionals and staff provide care and services including nursing, imaging, prosthetics, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, and mental health. Our internationally recognized faculty and staff — combined with our state-of-the-art Thompson Lab and variety and volume of patients — create an optimal environment for bedside-to-bench-to-bedside research. See below for a full list of active projects and presentations.

Research projects  


Featured Clinical Researcher of the Quarter:
Theodore Choma, MD

Theodore Choma, MD

Dr. Theodore Choma is the J. Vernon Luck, Sr. Distinguished Professor, Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Director of the Spine Surgery Division. After completing his residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Dr. Choma completed a spine surgery fellowship at Twin Cities Spine Center. Before joining the University of Missouri faculty, he spent 14 years in the Army, eventually becoming head of spinal surgery at the Dwight Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

Dr. Choma’s research focuses on spinal trauma, degenerative spinal conditions, and issues that affect the aging spine, such as osteoporosis. He has studied procedures aimed at healing spinal injuries faster and more naturally. He investigated use of various bone cements and screw techniques for holding osteoporotic bones together and has conducted extensive work on large databases to understand the risks of complications in complex spine surgeries. He holds two medical patents and has been presented with numerous honors including the Scoliosis Research Society’s Louis A. Goldstein Award and two recognitions from Becker’s Orthopaedic and Spine Review. In addition to leading numerous basic science studies, Dr. Choma currently leads the following clinical research studies:

  • Intervertebral Degenerative Disc Biomarker Study
  • Long-term Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes of Anterior Short-Segment Instrumented “Bone-on-Bone” Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
  • Relapse Rates Following Smoking Cessation before Spine Surgery