The Orthopaedic Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is involved in a number of national and international collaborations to further orthopaedic research – read on to find out more about us!



 We are

The basic concept of our unit is to promote our clinicians, students and investigators to follow intriguing and unanswered research questions they have.  We also want to make these answers available to our community to be able to improve their healthcare and change their lives.

Our mission

  • To develop future leaders who will have a positive impact in the orthopaedic world.
  • To focus on ‘African’ solutions for orthopaedic problems in the developing world. 

Our focus

  • Trauma care and prevention of trauma
  • Management of patients with TB, HIV and other infections
  • Care for elderly patients, women and children
  • Education in orthopaedic surgery
  • Innovations improving the care for our patients

Our Setup

Our team consist of clinicians doing research part-time and a small group of non-clinician support staff under the guidance of Professor Michael Held (director of the ORU).  We collaborate with the Infectious Disease Institute, National Health Laboratory Service, Department of Child Health and the Biomechanics Research Institutes of UCT.  The resulting platform enables experimental musculoskeletal research, translational research, clinical trials and healthcare delivery to be undertaken in close proximity.  The partnership is underpinned by one of the most productive academic research environments in Africa.  Clinical medicine research activity has more than doubled over the last five years at the Orthopaedic Department.  This creates an ideal setting for the dynamic inter-thematic research and encouraging a network within which to conduct musculoskeletal research.

International Collaborators

 Courses offered

  • MSc (Med) in Orthopaedic Surgery / Global Surgery
  • PhD Orthopaedic Surgery

 Visit to meet our team and for more information on our research projects and publications.