Desert Orthopaedic Research Foundation

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Send check or money order to: DORF
2800 E. Desert Inn Rd., #100
Las Vegas, NV 89121

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Dr. Swanson and his partners founded the Desert Orthopaedic Research Foundation (DORF) in the early 1990’s to help fund research projects undertaken by the group.  Since then, Dr. Swanson has assumed responsibility for DORF and oversees most of the research conducted by DORF.

DORF has been instrumental in several research projects which have benefited patients over the years.  Dr. Swanson’s work on the Mini-incision Total Hip procedure was initially funded by DORF in 1997, and since then Dr. Swanson has performed more than 3,000 of these procedures, published the favorable results of his first 1,000 cases (Swanson, J Arthroplasty, 2005), and continues to teach the procedure to other surgeons around the world and refine the procedure with the development of new instruments and surgical modifications.

Similarly, the Mini-incision Total Knee and Unicompartmental Knee procedures were developed in part through DORF.  Additional projects are underway, including new techniques to reduce complications of total hip and knee replacements and methods to speed recovery after these procedures.

However, these research projects cannot be done without funding for equipment and personnel.  Much of the past research by DORF has been funded by Dr. Swanson personally.  Today, further funding is needed to complete several projects, some which are already underway, including:

  1. Validation of the reduced dislocation rate using the “Capsular Noose” technique developed for Mini-incision Total Hip Replacements.  (Dislocations are rare with this technique)
  2. Determination of the causative factors for the occasional squeaky ceramic hip.
  3. Development of better instrumentation to balance knee ligaments after Mini-incision Total Knee Replacement (in order to reduce long-term pain and sensations of knee instability).
  4. Development of better methods and instrumentation to ensure accurate equalization of leg lengths after Mini-incision Total Hip Replacement.
  5. Determination of the accuracy of digital radiographs vs. standard radiographs for pre-operative planning for total hip replacement.

There is still much work to be done to improve upon procedures that have already seen significant improvements over the past 10 years.  However, they can only be done with funding for equipment, supplies, and staff.  This is where we need your help.  If you have benefited from any of these procedures, or if you know someone who has, please consider giving so that we can continue improving the quality of life for those with hip or knee arthritis.

Functions of DORF


Development of new procedures or surgical techniques.
It takes time, effort, and resources to take an idea from a mere concept to something that can actually be used in surgery.  DORF has facilitated development of many concepts into reality.

Evaluate results of new and established procedures or devices.
New devices and surgical techniques developed through DORF, as well as devices and techniques developed by independent researchers, need to be tested and validated to determine if they are truly effective or superior to other devices and techniques.  Some researcher or company “CLAIMS” are marketed as “FACT” to the general public.  DORF has evaluated many of these claims to determine whether they are accurate or not, in addition to critically evaluating the results of procedures and devices developed through DORF.

Determine causes of favorable or poor results.
Certain procedures succeed or fail because of unknown influences by the surgeon, hospital, patient, and environment.  In many cases, we don’t know why certain procedures work better than others.  Usually those factors that influence results of procedures can be determined through research studies. This information, applied in the operating room, ensures the best surgical results possible.


Although actual design of implants and instruments is not a function of DORF, development and testing of concepts which may be applicable to the deisgn of these devices is carried out be DORF. Research to determine which factors contribute to the success (or failure) of various orthopaedic devices and implants allow modifications to be made in order to improve upon the success of those devices.

The success of a surgical procedure often largely lies in the efficacy of the instruments used to perform the procedure.  DORF has helped improve upon and develop novel instrumentation for joint replacement procedures since its inception.

Surgical Techniques

DORF has been instrumental in seeing several surgical procedures developed, tested, and brought into mainstream orthopaedics. Among them, the minimally invasive total hip replacement procedure, minimally invasive total knee replacement, and the capsular noose procedure to prevent dislocation after total hip replacement.


Surgeon Instruction
After development of a surgical technique, it can only benefit patients on a larger scale if it is taught to other surgeons. DORF has helped spread knowledge gained through the foundation and disseminate it to other surgeons throughout the world.

Information must also be disseminated to patients in order to help them make informed decisions. This is done through educational websites such as, and

Publications, Technique Manuals, and Book Chapters
Once information has been gained through research, it can be disseminated and memorialized in publications in professional journals, technique manuals, and book chapters. Several have been published over the years through the assistance of DORF.

Some of these functions may seem more important to you than others. You may have even benefited yourself through past projects funded by DORF.  All aspects are important to continue to improve upon the care we are able to offer our patients.  However, it all takes time and money.  Most orthopaedic surgeons do not participate in research because of the huge time and financial commitment.  For years, Dr. Swanson has largely funded these research projects personally, but it is now time to take these projects to the next level.

In order to do this, we need your help.  Any donation you can make to DORF will be put to good use to continue the high quality of research and development that it has pursued over the past 15 years.  And every dollar donated is tax-deductible to you as a charitable donation through its 501(c)3 status.  Please give what you can so that DORF can continue to help people like yourself.  Whether it’s $25.00 or $2,500.00, every dollar helps.

DORF Structure

Desert Orthopaedic Research Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization under the Internal Revenue Code.  It is organized purely for the purpose of pursuing orthopaedic research carried on in the public interest, and none of its funds inure to any private shareholder or individual.  It does not participate in any political or legislative activities.

Donations to DORF are tax deductible to you as a charitable deduction on Schedule A of Form 1040 of your personal tax return.

How to Contribute

If you believe as we do that this is a worthy cause, or if you have benefited yourself from any of DORF’s prior research, please make a contribution today.  DORF and future patients like yourself will benefit from any contribution, whether it be $25.00, $250.00, or $2,500.00.  Please send check or money order to:

2800 E. Desert Inn Rd., #100
Las Vegas, NV  89121

Or give online at Firstgiving

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