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Our research focuses on hip osteoarthritis, from identifying its causes to developing new surgery techniques for the condition.

The Prevention and treatment of Hip Osteoarthritis

Our group research focuses on hip osteoarthritis from identifying its causes through to treatment options and development of new surgery techniques.


We are currently investigating the role of biomechanics in the initiation of hip osteoarthritis working with several international collaborators to develop models of disease progression.

FAIM is a cross-sectional and longitudinal study to determine whether activity levels during adolescence influence hip morphology and to explore the relationship between hip morphology and early degenerative change.

Our research team is using state-of-the-art MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to see whether the hip develops differently in young players from a Premiership football club and pupils aged 9–18 from local schools.

Developing biomarkers for detecting early osteoarthritis

Biomarkers can be used to identify individuals at risk of disease who may benefit from intervention and as an outcome measure in our clinical studies.

One of our key focuses is developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a tool for musculoskeletal disease evaluation and diagnosis. High resolution MRI can reveal musculoskeletal disease-related structural changes. MRI can also reveal physiological changes related to the progression of musculoskeletal disease.

In conjunction with Professor Carr and the MRI Physics team at FMRIB, we are developing novel MRI sequences on conventional and Ultra-High Field Strength (7T) imaging platforms.

We may also be able to detect biochemical markers of joint disease in blood and serum. Our team is currently investigating their role in the diagnoses and treatment of early osteoarthritis of the hip.

Novel Imaging and Processing for Early Musculoskeletal Disease

We are working on detecting the earliest changes in people's hips and knees with the onset of OA. New MRI techniques, like T2 mapping (a technique to map different biological tissues on MRI), have the potential to do this. By generating maps of cartilage 'quality' from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of patients, and presenting these images in a suitable form for comparison, we are looking to find the MRI 'fingerprint' of disease, to help detect early osteoarthritis (OA).

Clinical trials of new surgical treatments

Trials of joint preserving surgery and the development of new techniques for preventing osteoarthritis.

FAIT is a multicentre randomised controlled clinical trial comparing surgical and non-surgical approaches to treating femoroacetabular impingement. The study is coordinated by SITU.

Regulation and improving hip replacement outcomes

Evidence and regulation in total joint replacement

Our group is working to improve the introduction and regulation of new types of hip replacements.

We are working with organisations such as Beyond Compliance and ODEP to improve the collection of data on new implants. We have established an implant evaluation service, using surrogate rules for predicting outcomes in new types of hip replacements.

Current clinical trials of new hip regulations

  1. Mini hip study 
  2. CT Osteolysis Study 
  3. Trifit Study 
  4. DePuy Study 

Improving the outcome of joint replacement

Our work also looks at improving the results of joint replacement in terms of comorbidities and surgical factors. We are working closely with SIDIAP and other Registries to answer important questions related to outcome following hip replacement.

Research Opportunities

We regularly have one year clinical and research fellowships available. Our group currently has four DPhil students and we are always happy to discuss potential DPhil projects.

Our animation

Together with Oxford Sparks, we have developed an animation on femoroacetabular impingement. Watch it now.

Latest news

Our research into the link between sporting activity and bone development in young people featured on BBC Radio 4's Inside Health.

Selected publications

Related research themes