Musculoskeletal disorders are becoming a more common cause of mortality and disability around the world, especially as the burden of disease associated with an ageing population and the number of road traffic accidents rises. Research into the normal biology of musculoskeletal tissues, diseases and injuries associated with these tissues, and the underlying mechanisms of musculoskeletal tissue regeneration is becoming increasingly important in order to address the societal and economic burdens posed by musculoskeletal disorders. Multidisciplinary approaches ranging from basic cellular and molecular biology through bioengineering, biomechanics, and clinical research are frequently required for these investigations. To continue to progress the field, collaboration between disciplines and institutions with competence in biology, mechanics, and clinical research is clear. In order to reduce the societal and economic burdens imposed by the inability to resume necessary physical function, research initiatives in both developed and developing countries must focus on the orthopaedic disorders that are most important to their populations. The number of prospective research fields in the field of orthopaedics continues to expand, especially as the basic and applied bodies of scientific knowledge and technology advance.