The future of basic science in orthopaedics and traumatology: Cassandra or Prometheus?

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Orthopaedic and trauma research is a gateway to better health and mobility, reflecting the ever-increasing and complex burden of musculoskeletal diseases and injuries in Germany, Europe and worldwide. Basic science in orthopaedics and traumatology addresses the complete organism down to the molecule among an entire life of musculoskeletal mobility. Reflecting the complex and intertwined underlying mechanisms, cooperative research in this field has discovered important mechanisms on the molecular, cellular and organ levels, which subsequently led to innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that reduced individual suffering as well as the burden on the society. However, research efforts are considerably threatened by economical pressures on clinicians and scientists, growing obstacles for urgently needed translational animal research, and insufficient funding. Although sophisticated science is feasible and realized in ever more individual research groups, a main goal of the multidisciplinary members of the Basic Science Section of the German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery is to generate overarching structures and networks to answer to the growing clinical needs. The future of basic science in orthopaedics and traumatology can only be managed by an even more intensified exchange between basic scientists and clinicians while fuelling enthusiasm of talented junior scientists and clinicians. Prioritized future projects will master a broad range of opportunities from artificial intelligence, gene- and nano-technologies to large-scale, multi-centre clinical studies. Like Prometheus in the ancient Greek myth, transferring the elucidating knowledge from basic science to the real (clinical) world will reduce the individual suffering from orthopaedic diseases and trauma as well as their socio-economic impact.




Madry, H., Grässel, S., Nöth, U., Relja, B., Bernstein, A., Docheva, D., … Huber-Lang, M. (2021, December 1). The future of basic science in orthopaedics and traumatology: Cassandra or Prometheus? European Journal of Medical Research. BioMed Central Ltd.

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