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


Dr. Gregory J. Della Rocca
Gregory J. Della Rocca

Featured Clinical Researcher of the Quarter: Dr. Gregory J. Della Rocca

Dr. Gregory J. Della Rocca is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, University of Missouri. His area of expertise includes fracture surgeries for the arms, legs and pelvis, and elbow reconstructions.

Dr. Della Rocca’s research focuses on care of the injured patient and care of elbow disease. This research coincides nicely with his clinical practice and teaching interests. For the injured patient, his team is interested in injury prevention and treatment, including injuries to the arms, legs and pelvis as they relate to the musculoskeletal system. This treatment can include joint preservation. In addition, population-based clinical trials provide Dr. Della Rocca and his research team with answers to basic clinical questions regarding treatment of the patient with musculoskeletal injuries. Also, the elbow is a complex joint, about which much knowledge is still needed regarding elbow disorders (traumatic and non-traumatic) and their treatment, including reconstruction, arthroplasty and arthroscopy. Dr. Della Rocca’s research interests include elbow trauma and its sequelae, elbow reconstruction, fracture care, geriatric fractures, orthopaedic trauma, joint preservation and regeneration and population studies in trauma.

Dr. Della Rocca currently leads the following clinical research studies:

  • Long intramedullary nailing of intertrochanteric fractures: is distal interlocking necessary?
  • Overlap of external fixator pin sites with definitive fixation implants in peri-knee and peri-ankle fractures, and association with infection.
  • Periarticular elbow fracture dislocations outcomes assessment
  • Preoperative cefazolin in penicillin-allergic patients: is it really unsafe?
  • Quadrimalleolar variants of trimalleolar ankle fracture
  • Multicenter Prospective Registry for Periprosthetic Fractures after Hip or Knee Arthroplasty (PPFx Registry)
  • Fragility Fractures of the Pelvis: Observational Outcome Study Registry (AOFFP)
  • Traumatic Arthrotomy, Saline Load Test (SLT) versus Computed Tomography (CT): What is best practice?
  • Geriatric hip fracture outcomes assessment: comparing plates and nails