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Improving Orthopaedics Through Research & Education

Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery is proud to conduct and support research that leads to immediate gains in Orthopaedics through the VSO Research Foundation.

Founded in 2013 by the physicians at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, the Vail Summit Orthopaedic Foundation (VSOF) is a 501(c)(3)

non-profit organization established to improve the care of patients with musculoskeletal disorders through research, education, and outreach.

Musculoskeletal injuries and disorders affect people of all ages and are often painful, limiting, or debilitating. One in two adults in the U.S. is diagnosed with musculoskeletal conditions each year. Nearly 18 million adults (6 percent of the U.S. population) reported being unable to perform at least one common activity because of these conditions.

Musculoskeletal injuries and disorders can involve the entire human body from head to toe and can affect people of all ages and are often painful, limiting, or debilitating and can interfere with work, play, and decrease quality of life.

In addition, the annual U.S. cost for treating musculoskeletal disorders and lost wages due to disability is estimated to be $874 billion per year or 5.7 percent GDP and has been steadily increasing every year. Despite the billions of dollars and millions of lives affected, musculoskeletal disorders have accounted for less than 2 percent of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget every year since 2000. More funding and continued research are imperative.

VSOF’s mission is to improve the care of patients with musculoskeletal disorders through the following initiatives.

  1. Outcome-Based Research: VSOF conducts orthopaedic outcome-based research studies in such sub-specialties as hand, foot, ankle, knee, hip, spine, elbow, shoulder, sports medicine, and regenerative medicine to improve patient outcomes today.

  2. Medical Education: VSOF facilitates improved patient care through live and virtual educational activities that maintain, develop, and enhance the knowledge, skills, and professional performance in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine care.

  3. Community Outreach: Comprehensive care extends far beyond what VSON does for patients. We continuously seek opportunities to reach out and donate time, services, and equipment to the community where our patients, staff, and physicians live, work, and play.

VSOF strives to be a leader in patient outcomes research. At VSOF, we conduct clinical studies both independently and in collaboration with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics. We also work with large industry partners making significant strides in medical technological advances, such as Medtronic and Zimmer Biomet. Studies range in design and focus but are developed to understand how we can improve patient outcomes by incorporating new innovative t

echnologies, preventative measures, and therapeutics. We present and publish our findings to share knowledge with the goal of improving outcomes for all orthopaedic patients.

Our educational and outreach activities include live and virtual events, regularly scheduled classes, seminars, and informational sessions. We offer a one-year residency training program for students studying to become athletic trainers. VSOF also provides internship programs for high school and college students interested in learning about orthopaedic practice and research.

These initiatives are designed to keep pace with advances in medicine, technology, and biomedical research that improve the overall health and daily lives of our patients and meet the needs of physicians and healthcare professionals practicing not only in the mountains but throughout the state, nationally, and internationally.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, VSOF relies solely on external financial support for all research, education, and outreach activities. All contributions and donations directly support efforts to continuously improve results and provide the best orthopaedic care for our patients.

With support from the physicians at VSON, patients, industry sponsors, and local research partners, VSOF will continue to improve orthopaedic medicine through investigation, innovation, education, and collaboration.

To learn more about the Vail-Summit Orthopaedics Foundation and how to donate, visit


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