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Canterbury Orthopaedic and Bone Research Association (COBRA)

Improving clinical outcomes in musculoskeletal conditions

Close-up of a man's knee in a stabiliser support brace, with a wheelchair in the backgroundWe are a private research facility funded by the Canterbury Orthopaedics Service (COS) and staffed by employees of the University of Otago.

Our team collects data for research purposes about people who have hip and knee replacement surgeries in the Canterbury region, both prior to surgery and at various periods afterwards. Routine follow-up periods are currently six months, one year, five years, and now ten years post-surgery.

A wide range of patient-reported outcome measures are recorded, including about pain, function, and quality of life experienced. We have been collecting this data since 2006, having been established in 2004.

In 2016 we expanded our data collection efforts to include minor and major surgical revisions of past arthroplasty surgery. Major revisions (where all components are replaced) are now being treated in the database as new joint replacements.

COBRA data and research

Information collected for each patient comprises demographic, clinical and surgical information, as well as patient-reported outcome measures, which include the pre- and post-op Oxford, WOMAC, HAAS, Harris, UCLA, and WHOQOL8.

Patient-reported outcomes are supplemented with x-ray and blood testing data.

The COBRA database provides opportunities to evaluate research questions about many aspects of patient outcomes after having hip and knee arthroplasty.

An impressive body of research has been published by our COBRA researchers using data collected from over ten years of surgical practice in Canterbury. We aim always to learn more, and through this, offer improved outcomes for consumers of orthopaedic services.

See our COBRA publications

National Joint Replacement Register

The COBRA database was started with a large data import from the National Joint Replacement Register.

The New Zealand Orthopaedic Association (NZOA) agreed in 1997 to establish a national register, recognising a real need to collect data on implants and outcomes.

Learn more about the National Joint Replacement Register

Our people

  • Professor Gary Hooper, Principal Investigating Surgeon and Research Lead
  • Dr Deborah Snell, Director of Clinical Studies
  • Lyn Jefferies, Research Assistant
  • Caroline Norris, Research Nurse
  • COBRA is assisted by Mike Wall, who developed and manages the COBRA database

Find us

The COBRA team can be found at Burwood Hospital; one of New Zealand's centres of excellence for rehabilitation and elective orthopaedic surgery.

We have access to Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) resources and facilities via a Memorandum of Understanding between the CDHB and COS.

Contact us

Director of Clinical Studies, COBRA, Dr Deborah Snell
Email: debbie.snell@otago.ac.nz

Administrator Client Services, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch
Email: orthopaedics.uoc@otago.ac.nz

Telephone: +64 3 364 1086