Research at Bone & Joint Institute

Advancing Scientifically Proven Care


Breaking Ground in Muskuloskeletal Research 


‘Best-in-Class’ Outcomes Backed by Data and Analysis


A Multidisciplinary Team of Providers and Researchers 

Our Mission

The Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital is a multidisciplinary group of providers united by the common goal to deliver world class comprehensive musculoskeletal care. In order to achieve this level of ‘best-in-class’ quality outcomes, it is necessary to provide care which is evidence based. This places the collection and analysis of valid and reliable data at the epicenter of the Institute and with it the support for critical thinking, research, education, and innovation. The data and the critical analysis thereof will enable scientifically proven care while simultaneously striving to investigate ways to improve the musculoskeletal health and wellbeing of all individuals locally and around the globe.

Our Team

Heeren S. Makanji, MD

Interim Director of Research

Supervisor, Clinical Trial Unit Leader

• Bethany A. Samperi, CCRP

Nurse Scientist

• Jennifer Hehl, PhD, RN

Senior Scientists

• Matthew J. Solomito, MS, PhD, Lead Senior Scientist
• Regina O. Kostyun, MSEd, ATC
• Sara E. Strecker, MS, PhD

Research Associate

• Jake Corsa

Clinical Research Assistant

• Angie Alban
• Isabel Lubin

Analytics

Director, Analytics

• Nischala Tolat, MS, MBA, SSBBP, NSLS

Data Manager, Healthcare Informatics

• Angie Rivera
• Carlo Ronca, BS Management Information System

Clinical Data Analyst

• Caitlin McCracken, MA

Systems Analyst, RTLS

• Sean Backstrom, BS Information Technology


 
Recent Publications and Presentations

2023 Poster Presentations
Quality Improvement

Nguyen, E., Lenk, E., Solomito, M., Jitendranath, L., Briglia, E., Iamonaco, K., Gonzalez, T., Maramba, T., Pearson, M., Talbott, B., Hehl. J. Staying Ahead of Post-Operative Infections: An Infection Prevention Bundled Approach. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY.

Nguyen, E., Lenk, E., Sinclair, M., Knight, K., Murphy, L., Santos, C., Monson, A., Gomes, M., Buden, C., Bucknam, R., Moran, J., Amaro, D., Briglia, E., Ghergurovich, C. Reducing Unplanned Readmissions: Utilizing an Interprofessional Huddle. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Nguyen, E., Lenk, E., Sinclair, M., Knights, M., Grady Benson, J., Tolat, N. Leveraging Advanced Data Analytics, Process Improvements, and Clinical Interventions Towards Excellence in Healthcare. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Slowkowski, L., Kierstead, L., Stevens, B., Cruz, S., Knights, M., Anderson, M., Maroney, K., Gorley, J. Recovery to Home: A PACU Same-day Discharge A3 Initiative. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Lenk, E., Sinclair, M., Knight, K., Murphy, L. Healing Power of Patient Education: Improving Access to Pre-operative Education Class. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Hirx, S., Hehl, J., Massoia, L., Parker, K., Slowkowski, L. Implementing the Wright Competency Model in Perioperative Service. Hartford Hospital: 27th Annual Nursing & Research Evidence-Based Practice Conference

Hehl, J., Dzurec, L., Avanecean, D. (You Got to Have) Friends:1 Why courtesy and respect alone are inadequate to fostering effective commitment to Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement in Nursing. Hartford Hospital: 27th Annual Nursing & Research Evidence-Based Practice Conference

Hehl, J., Skipper, J., Berry, S., Talbott, B., Abrha, F.G., Conway, T. And Then She Asked the Question – “Are Sterile Wash Basins on the Back Table a Good or Bad Idea?” A Systematic Literature Review to Determine Best Practice. Hartford Hospital: 27th Annual Nursing & Research Evidence-Based Practice Conference

Hehl, J., Dzurec, L., Avanecean, D., Corbett, L., Ritchie, J. Adopting the ARCC© Model and Taking Our First Step: The Assessment. Hartford Hospital: 27th Annual Nursing & Research Evidence-Based Practice Conference

Goldberg, L., Cruz, S. Wired for Change: Teamwork and Safety Leads to OR and SPD Relationship Building. Hartford Hospital: 27th Annual Nursing & Research Evidence-Based Practice Conference

Sinclair, M., Jose, M., Meisterling, L., Kureshi, I., Kilbourn, K., Firestone, D. Operating Room Efficiency: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Operating Room First Case on Time Starts for the Neurosurgical Population. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Hehl, J., Pearson, M., Hayes, K. Opening the OR Doors to Foster Culture Change and Fill Vacancies. ONL Regional Winter Quarterly Meeting in Framingham, MA.

Murphy, L. Enhancing healthcare equity: Improving access to care for the underserved Orthopaedic population. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Kosma, K., Lenk, E. Closing the Osteoporosis Treatment Gap for Fragility Hip Fracture Patients. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY
Kosma, K., Perez, C. MODIFY Program: Decreasing Modifiable Risk Factors Prior to Orthopedic Surgery. NAON 43rd Annual Congress in Louisville, KY

Goldberg, L., Strecker, S., Witmer, D. Patient Outcomes in Staged Bilateral Total Joint Arthroplasty. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses

Goldberg, L., Strecker, S., Witmer, D. The Effect of IntraOp Ropivicaine on Postop Pain in Total Hip Arthroplasty. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

2022 Publications

Connors, J. P., Lindsay, A. D., & Witmer, D. K. (2022). Cephalomedullary Nail as a Definitive Antibiotic Spacer for Multidrug Resistant Periprosthetic Infection of a Proximal Femoral Endoprosthesis. Techniques in Orthopaedics. https://doi.org/10.1097/BTO.0000000000000559

Esmende, S. M., Solomito, M. J., Eisler, J., Finkel, K. J., Kainkaryam, P. P., Maffeo-Mitchell, C. L. (2022). Utility of the transversus abdominis plane and rectus sheath blocks in patients undergoing anterior lumbar interbody fusions. Spine Journal, 22(10):1660-1665.

Geiselmann, M. T., Goldberg, L. K., Strecker, S. E., & Witmer, D. K. (2022). Does the Use of an Intra-Articular Local Anesthetic Injection During Total Hip Arthroplasty Reduce Patient Reported Pain Scores or Patient Opioid Consumption? The Journal of Arthroplasty37(4), 748–754.

Howard, E. E., Margolis, L. M., Fussell, M. A., Rios, C. G., Meisterling, E. M., Lena, C. J., Pasiakos, S. M., & Rodriguez, N. R. (2022). Effect of High-Protein Diets on Integrated Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis before Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Nutrients14(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030563

Magaldi, R. J., Strecker, S. E., Nissen, C. W., Carangelo, R. J., & Grady-Benson, J. (2022). Preoperative Factors to Assess Risk for Postoperative Urinary Retention in Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Retrospective Analysis. Arthroplasty Today13, 181–187.

Nissen, C. W., Albright, J. C., Anderson, C. N., Busch, M. T., Carlson, C., Carsen, S., Chambers, H. G., Edmonds, E. W., Ellermann, J. M., Ellis, H. B., Jr, Erickson, J. B., Fabricant, P. D., Ganley, T. J., Green, D. W., Grimm, N. L., Heyworth, B. E., Po, J. H. H., Kocher, M. S., Kostyun, R. O., … ROCK Group. (2022). Descriptive Epidemiology From the Research in Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee (ROCK) Prospective Cohort. The American Journal of Sports Medicine50(1), 118–127.

Witmer, D., Solomito, M. J., Kumar, M., Shearier, E., & Davis, S. (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Locally Injected Tranexamic Acid in Hip Fracture Patients: A Retrospective Review. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma36(3), 147–151.

2021 Publications

Kahan, J. B., Schneble, C. A., Applonie, R., Nicholson, A., Whittall, I., Talley-Bruns, R., Jorgensen, A., LaVette, N., Moran, J., Ware, J. K., Lee, F. Y., & Blaine, T. A. (2021). Early success of the arthroscopic-assisted locked loop suprapectoral biceps tenodesis. JSES Reviews, Reports, and Techniques1(2), 96–101.

Kia, C., & Esmende, S. (2021). Robotic-assisted Spine Surgery: A Review of its Development, Outcomes, and Economics on Practice. Techniques in Orthopaedics36(3), 272.

McGrath, M., Spira, B., Grady-Benson, J., Bruning, P., Kress, K., Belniak, R., Golladay, G. J., & Damodar, D. (2021). The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physicians 'Perception of Digital Health in Orthopedics. Journal of Orthopedic Experience & Innovation, 3.

Tomasevich, K. M., Moradi, S., & Lindsay, A. D. (2021). Chondrosarcoma Arising in Synovial Chondromatosis of the Hip. In JBJS Case Connector, 11(3). https://doi.org/10.2106/jbjs.cc.20.00724

Presentations

Regina Kostyun, Sara E. Strecker, John Magaldi. The Prevalence of Multisystem Diagnoses Among Patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective Analysis Using a Large Healthcare Claims Database.  Presented at: 2022 International Scientific Symposium on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders; Sept 14-18, 2022; Rome, Italy.

Sara E. Strecker, John Magaldi. Ehlers-Danlos: Physician Perspectives in Ehlers-Danlos. Presented at: 2022 International Scientific Symposium on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders; Sept 14-18, 2022; Rome, Italy.

Jesse Eisler, Matthew Solomito. Determining the Utility of the RAPSF Score as a Means of Predicting Post-Surgical Outcomes Following Elective Lumbar Fusions. Presented at: LSRS; April 2022; Chicago, IL.

Sean Esmende, Matthew Solomito, Jesse Eisler, Kevin Finkel, Pranjali Kainkaryam, Carla Maffeo-Mitchell. Utility of the Transversus Abdominis Plane and Rectus Sheath Blocks in Patients Undergoing Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Presented at: LSRS; April 2022; Chicago, IL.

Heeren Makanji, Matthew Solomito, Sean Esmende, Carla Maffeo-Mitchell, Kevin Finkel. Utility of the Erector Spinae Plane Block in Posterior and Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusions. Presented at: LSRS; April 2022; Chicago, IL.

Mandeep Kumar, Regina Kostyun, Gilbert Agyeman, Connor Seeley, Ilene Staff. Fever is a Common and Largely Benign Finding in Patients Undergoing Total Joint Arthroplasty (TJA): A Retrospective Analysis of 3939 Patients. Presented at: 17th Annual Perioperative Medicine Summit; March 4-6, 2022; San Diego, CA.

Iva Brinley, Elizabeth Briglia, Donna Jones, Mikaela Dunn, Jenna Ouellette, Makaila Sinclair, Erica Braudrick, Regina Kostyun, Sherry Stohler. Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Toward Early Mobilization for Orthopaedic Patients: A Descriptive Survey of an Intra-Professional Team. Presented at: CT Nursing Research Alliance; October 22, 2021; Hartford, CT.

Leah Goldberg, Daniel K. Witmer, Sara E. Strecker. Does the Use of an Intraoperative Local Anesthetic Injection During Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty Reduce Postoperative Opioid Use or Patient Reported Pain Scores? Presented at: CT Nursing Research Alliance; October 22, 2021; Hartford, CT.

Erica Braudrick, Sara E. Strecker, William Nolan. Multimodal Analgesia is Superior to Opiates Alone After Tibial Fracture in Patients with Substance Abuse History. Presented at: National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON); May 22-25, 2021; Palm Springs, CA.

The ROCK Group. A Descriptive Epidemiology of Our First 1000 Patients. Presented at: POSNA Annual Meeting; May 12-15, 2021; Dallas, TX.

Robert J. Carangelo, Robert J. Magaldi, Sara E. Strecker, Tracy Gonzalez, Daniel Beaupre. High Pre-Operative Post Void Residual Volume May Predict Straight Catheterization Following Total Hop Arthroplasty. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS); March 9-13, 2021; San Diego, CA

Presentations
Nursing Research

Wendy Savarese, Shelby Greco, Lisa Slowkowski. High and Low Fidelity Simulation for Perianesthesia Skills Review. Presented at: Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance 26th Annual Evidence Based Practice Conference; October 7th, 2022; Virtual.

Erica Lenk, Sherry Stohler, Lavanya Jitendranath. A Descriptive Examination of Bacterial Organisms Found in Deep Surgical Site Infections Following Orthopedic Trauma Surgery at a Level I Trauma Center. Presented at: Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance 26th Annual Evidence Based Practice Conference; October 7th, 2022; Virtual.

Makaila Sinclair, Tabitha Whetham, Lavanya Jitendranath, Sherry Stohler. Staying Ahead of Post-Operative Infections: Pre-Incision Cefazolin Optimization in the Orthopedic Operating Room. Presented at: Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance 26th Annual Evidence Based Practice Conference; October 7th, 2022; Virtual.

Erica Lenk, Monika Nelson, Bethany Ayotte, Carmen Santos, Melissa Gomes. Alcohol Screening and Intervention at a Level I Trauma Center for Patients Presenting Following a Traumatic Event. Presented at: Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance 26th Annual Evidence Based Practice Conference; October 7th, 2022; Virtual.

Karen Livingston, Iva Brinley, Makaila Sinclair, Erica Braudrick, Sherry Stohler, Regina Kostyun. The Impact of Patient Engagement on Length of Stay and Patient Satisfaction in Orthopedics. Presented at: Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance 26th Annual Evidence Based Practice Conference; October 7th, 2022; Virtual.

Sarah B. Cruz, Michael Snow, Christopher Johnson, Mark Pearson, David Mintell, Nicholas Tranchina, Sara Strecker, Jennifer Hehl. Utilizing an A3 Lean Methodology to Reduce Immediate Use Steam Sterilization in Orthopaedic Operating Rooms. Presented at: Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance 26th Annual Evidence Based Practice Conference; October 7th, 2022; Virtual.

 

 
Upcoming Research Opportunities

Bone Density Analysis in Patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Research Study

A Prospective Research Study Evaluating the Bone Density in Patients with Diagnosed Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Sara Strecker, PhD, in conjunction with the Bone & Joint Institute, is conducting a study to evaluate bone density in patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome compared to healthy adults.

Eligibility Criteria (EDS Patients)

  • Patients 18 – 55 years of age
  • Patients with a diagnosis of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos either through clinical correlation or via genetic consultation
  • No history of major surgery or fracture of the legs, back or wrist (joint replacement / spinal fusion)
  • Not pregnant

Eligibility Criteria (Healthy Adults)

  1. Age 18-55 years of age
  2. No history or suspicion of hypermobility or a score of less than 4 on the Beighton Scale 
  3. No history of major surgery or fracture of the legs, back or wrist (joint replacement / spinal fusion)
  4. Not pregnant

Please contact the Bone and Joint Research Department at BJIResearch@hhchealth.org or 860.972.5933 for more information.


Motion Analysis in Patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Research Study

A Prospective Research Study Evaluating the Gait Characteristics of Patients with Diagnosed Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Sara Strecker, PhD, in conjunction with the Motion Analysis Lab at the Bone & Joint Institute, is conducting a study to evaluate gait and physical therapy parameters in patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome compared to healthy adults.

Eligibility Criteria (EDS Patients)

  • Patients 18 – 55 years of age
  • Patients with a diagnosis of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos either through clinical correlation or via genetic consultation
  • No history of major surgery on the legs or back (joint replacement / spinal fusion)

Eligibility Criteria (Healthy Adults)

  1. Age 18-55 years of age
  2. No history or suspicion of hypermobility or a score of less than 4 on the Beighton Scale 
  3. No history of major surgery on the legs or back (joint replacement / spinal fusion)

Please contact the Bone and Joint Research Department at BJIResearch@hhchealth.org or 860.972.5933 for more information.

Research at Bone & Joint Institute

         

         

         

         

Hartford Hospital

Bone & Joint Institute

The Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital is a multidisciplinary group of providers united by the common goal to deliver world class comprehensive musculoskeletal care.

About the Bone & Joint Institute