Orthopedic Research

Orthopedic studies and education at Scripps in San Diego

Dr. Darryl D’Lima conducting orthopedic research

Orthopedic studies and education at Scripps in San Diego

Scripps Clinic orthopedic specialists are driving some of the world’s most advanced clinical studies at the Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education (SCORE) in San Diego. SCORE’s privately and publicly sponsored orthopedic clinical trials make it possible for patients to receive investigational therapies and devices for the treatment of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system.


SCORE’s physicians and scientists are studying the effects of traumatic injuries and sports activities to determine how well joint replacement and reconstruction techniques or the use of experimental prostheses can restore joint mechanics and range of motion. Their peer-reviewed published work in orthopedics is extensive. They are also actively researching artificial cartilage implants, as well as allografts of human cartilage for treatment of joint injuries or joint degeneration.

Joint mechanics laboratory research

Inside the Alfred A. Smith and Susan D. Richardson Joint Mechanics Laboratory at SCORE in San Diego, leading-edge orthopedic research work includes:


  • Optimizing allograft transplantations for cartilage repair
  • Analyzing newer biomaterials for implantation to restore joint function
  • Improving surgical techniques and joint implant design by measuring forces inside the knee with a one-of-a-kind electronic knee implant (e-knee)
  • Conducting joint wear testing to measure durability of surgical implants of the hip, knee and spine
  • Testing joint implant designs, surgical instruments, rehabilitation programs and bracing and orthotics designs for the leg foot and ankle

Biological and biomechanical orthopedic research

Pioneering work by Scripps Clinic researchers and scientists at SCORE focuses on breakthrough orthopedics treatments, including several areas of potential benefit to patients such as cartilage allograft, cartilage-tissue engineering, stem cell research and genomics.

Cartilage allografts

Scripps is at the forefront of cartilage transplant procedures and advancing the process for improved patient results. A Scripps Clinic orthopedic doctor has been nationally recognized for his work in optimizing a surgery that replaces or repairs lost or damaged cartilage with donor tissue, which can relieve pain, improve joint function and prevent the onset of arthritis.


Over several years, the Scripps Clinic orthopedic surgeon has conducted scientific and clinical studies with the goal of improving the allograft process for knee joints. The breakthrough research has driven new innovations in human tissue banking, a deeper biologic understanding of osteochondral allografts, and improved patient outcomes.

Educational opportunities

SCORE strives to share its knowledge and scientific discoveries with clinicians, researchers and the community through innovative orthopedic educational programs.

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