Orthopaedic research is aimed at understanding, diagnosing, and treating conditions that affect the musculoskeletal (muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones) system. Childhood is a period of rapid growth and, as a result, musculoskeletal conditions in children are often very different to those found in adults and can have significant effects on the child’s quality of life and future health. Orthopaedic research specific to childhood conditions is therefore vital and, for this reason, orthopaedics is a key priority area for the NCRC.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) involves abnormal curvature of the spine and is one of the most common orthopaedic conditions affecting young people. AIS occurs in approximately 1-3% of adolescents and can significantly alter appearance, affecting the back, shoulders, ribcage, hips, breasts, and overall posture. As a result, adolescents with AIS can experience a number of psychological and social challenges, including stress, anxiety, and social avoidance, in addition to the physical burdens of the condition.

Dr Amanda Fitzgerald’s research is focused on understanding appearance concerns and psychosocial adjustment of adolescents with AIS in order to ensure the best care and support of is provided.

Orthopaedic research is a relatively new area for the NCRC and one that we hope to see grow from strength to strength in the coming years.