The J. Vernon Luck, Sr., M.D. Orthopaedic Research Center, known as JVL, is located on the Downtown Campus of Orthopaedic Institute for Children, founded as Orthopaedic Hospital in 1911.  The Research Center was dedicated to J. Vernon Luck, Sr., M.D., in 1986. The JVL Research Center is internationally recognized for advances in implant performance, including wear, fixation, retrieval analysis, and clinical outcome, as well as fracture, healing and repair. 


The Mission of the J. Vernon Luck Orthopaedic Research Center is to support and promote:

  • Research and development projects that have an immediate impact on the quality of patient care by evaluating the efficacy of current orthopaedic implants and the associated surgical techniques, and by developing improved implants and treatments.
  • Education of scientists and clinicians in the latest research on implants and the associated therapies for musculoskeletal diseases and injuries. Communication between researchers studying the musculoskeletal system and clinicians treating the millions of patients affected by musculoskeletal diseases or injuries.
  • Collaborative musculoskeletal research and development programs among scientists, clinicians, educators, and commercial entities.


The research programs of the Luck Center are supported by funding from granting agencies such as the NIH, from private foundations, particularly the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation, and through contract research sponsored by the orthopaedic industry.


During the past three decades, the highly productive faculty of the Luck Orthopaedic Research Center have published an extensive number of manuscripts in the leading orthopaedic journals and their research has been recognized with the most prestigious awards in the field, including: in 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2011 the John Charnley Award from the Hip Society, and in 1998 the CeramTec Award for Research on Ceramics in Orthopaedic Implants, and The Kappa Delta Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research Society.

The 1998 Kappa Delta Award was presented to the investigators of the Luck Center in recognition of their developing a highly wear resistant polyethylene for use as a bearing material in artificial hips and knees. The new polyethylene has received a number of patents in the United States and internationally, and in 1998, was licensed to DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., the orthopaedic division of Johnson & Johnson. To date, the new polyethylene has been used in artificial joints in several hundred thousand patients, and none of them has required revision surgery due to excessive wear. This landmark breakthrough has made joint replacement surgery available to younger, more active patients than was historically possible.