The AAOS promotes orthopaedic research through advocacy, education, and recognition of excellence. Research activities and initiatives provide opportunities for musculoskeletal researchers through annual research symposia, clinician scholar development programs, orthopaedic research awards, advocacy events, and interaction with regulatory agencies to aid in the development of safe and effective orthopaedic devices and biologics. 

Research Tools

Data and Statistics: The AAOS partners with United States Bone and Joint Initiative to publish the Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States: Prevalence, Societal and Economic Costs (BMUS). The site offers a Report Builder which allows you to customize a report based on the most up-to-date data available.

Unified Orthopaedic Research Agenda: The AAOS, in partnership with the orthopaedic subspecialty societies, publishes a Unified Orthopaedic Research Agenda (URA) annually. The mission of the URA is to advance science and research in musculoskeletal care through a unified research strategy. Continued and additional funding of these research priorities is necessary to improve function and mobility and reduce the socioeconomic burden of orthopaedic disorders.

Sex and Gender in Research: The AAOS seeks to advocate, advance, and serve as a resource on sex and gender differences in musculoskeletal health. Since females suffer from disease in different ways than males, recognizing sex-related differences is critical to optimizing patient care.

Tools and Resources: This document outlines Research and Quality Tools and Resources for orthopaedic specialty societies as offered by the AAOS Department of Research and Scientific Affairs.  

Orthopaedic Census: The AAOS Orthopaedic Surgeon Census is conducted biennially to collect demographic and orthopaedic practice-related information. AAOS uses these data to develop accurate, up-to-date statistics on orthopaedic practice and practice management issues in order to accurately represent members in advocacy, funding, and reimbursement efforts.


Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities: Search a clearinghouse of research funding opportunities offered by orthopaedic specialty societies (BOS Member Organizations). Opportunities are filterable and link to external websites for additional information and application instructions. 

Research Awards: The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons solicits manuscripts annually for the Kappa Delta Awards and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Clinical Research Award. Up to two $20,000 Kappa Delta awards (Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award and Ann Doner Vaughan Award), one $20,000 Kappa Delta Young Investigator award, and one $20,000 OREF award are awarded for outstanding basic, translational, or clinical research related to the musculoskeletal system.

Clinician Scholar Career Development: The AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scholar Career Development Program (CSCDP) is an annual application-based training program for clinicians in their PGY2-PGY 5 residency years, in fellowships, and Junior Faculty through year three who have the potential/desire to become orthopaedic clinician scientists.

ORS/OREF/ AAOS Grant Writing Workshop: The 2017 Grant Writing Workshop: Tools for Success - Clinical, Translational, and Basic Science Research, will be held April 28-29, 2017 in Baltimore, MD. The program is held annually and features:

  • Mock Study Section where faculty will review provisional grants provided by the registrants.
  • Specific Aims Lab which will allow attendees to collaborate with faculty and peers to revise and improve the specific aims section of the grant application. The key component to the grant proposal.
  • Real Time Feedback from Faculty and NIH Officers
  • Mentoring

Annual Research Symposia: The annual AAOS research symposia are designed to define the knowledge base in a chosen topic area based on scientific evidence, to identify gaps in the knowledge base, and to outline future research opportunities. Abstracts submissions offer an opportunity to present your related research and young investigator travel awards are available for each meeting.


Research Advocacy

The Orthopaedic community works to raise awareness of the chronic, debilitating, and costly musculoskeletal diseases and disorders afflicting our nation and to request continued support for musculoskeletal research. It is imperative that the orthopaedic community educate members of Congress about the need for increased musculoskeletal research funding in order to improve the quality of life for patients with musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.

Research Capitol Hill Days: The AAOS sponsors an annual event in which physicians, researchers, and patients travel to Washington, DC, to visit their representatives, share personal stories, and discuss the need for increased federal funding of musculoskeletal research.

Extremity War Injuries: The AAOS has partnered with the Society for Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS), the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), and the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) since 2006 in an annual symposium series, Extremity War Injuries (EWI) , which has served to define current knowledge and identify future research directions regarding management of extremity trauma. The efforts of the EWI symposia have contributed to Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP), which was established by Congress in fiscal year 2009 to support military-relevant, peer-reviewed orthopaedic research.


Regulatory Sciences

Biological Implants: The AAOS reviews and monitors scientific and regulatory developments in the field of implantable biologicals, tissue components, and combination biological/biomedical device products as they relate to orthopaedic surgery, care, and practice. The Academy’s Biological Implants Committee interacts with governmental, regulatory, and standard-setting organizations, as well as orthopaedic device manufacturers to promote the promulgation of safe and efficacious biological products for use in orthopaedics.

Biomedical Engineering: The AAOS provides resources its members and the public for scientific and regulatory developments in the field of biomedical engineering as they relate to orthopaedic surgery, practice, and patient care. The Biomedical Engineering Committee collaborates with regulatory bodies, governmental and standard-setting agencies, the orthopaedic industry, and the medical community to advocate for the development and availability of safe and effective orthopaedic medical devices.