In current clinical practice, most patients who undergo total joint replacement surgery receive similar preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative management. However, despite similar care, there is wide variability in terms of outcomes and satisfaction. This variability may be due to a lack of understanding of the genetic basis of degenerative joint disease.
Genomics, the scientific study of genes and their interrelationships with each other and the environment, has gained increased attention in the most recent decade. With the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, genomic research has surged, ushering in new genetic technologies and opportunities in health care. Indeed, genetic tests have been developed to identify mutations for complex diseases such as breast, colon, and ovarian cancer. These examples are but a few of the ways in which genomics can impact human disease and its prevention.