Performance Testing

The Granata Lab has a variety of performance and functional testing equipment such as Y-Balance kits, Functional Movement Screen kits, a timing system, plyoboxes, and a jump height indicator to name a few.  These pieces of equipment can be used individually or as part of larger research projects based on the research questions.

Effects of Achilles Tendon Assistive Taping in Healthy Recreational Athletes

This study tested the effects of a specific Achilles taping technique during running and jumping tasks. Subjects were outfitted with 3D motion capture markers in order to measure movement and loading during the tasks. Subjects are currently being recruited for the study. Eligible subjects will be between the ages of 18-35, must participate in athletic activities at least 3 times per week, and will have had no leg injuries in the past six months that have kept them from performing athletic activities for more than two days, and no leg injuries at all in the last two months. Testing will take place during one session in the Granata Lab and will last 60-90 minutes. Please email us or call Evan McConnell at (540) 231-4294 if you are interested in participating in this study.

Laboratory

Dr. Queen directs the Kevin P. Granata Biomechanics Lab (Granata Lab) at Virginia Tech and thus has full access to all of its resources. The Granata Lab encompasses 2,500 sq. ft. of space in Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus. Norris Hall is one of the engineering buildings on the Virginia Tech campus and houses faculty offices and classrooms for the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics. The Granata Lab contains office space for postdoctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate students. Dr. Queen’s office is also located in Norris Hall in close proximity to the Granata Lab. Most of the laboratory space is used for motion capture as well as biofeedback training. All of the laboratory equipment is around the perimeter of the lab, which allows for ample open floor space for all necessary training. In addition, the elastic bands that are needed for the tactile biofeedback portion of the project are currently available in the lab.

Clinical Space

Lewis Gale Sports Medicine – Orthopaedic Surgery Clinics – The sports medicine orthopaedic clinic and affiliated physicians which inlcudes Dr. Farmer’s practice is located near the Virginia Tech campus, approximately a 2 miles from the Granata Lab. In addition, Lewis Gale Sports Medicine has 6 offices throughout southwest Virginia which could be included as additional referral sites if there is any difficulty in recruiting patients to participate in the study. The orthopaedic clinic contains approximately 20 private exam rooms that will be used by the referring physicians when they are recruiting patients for this study and where any necissary clinical evaluations will be completed.  The sports medicine physicians work with both physician’s assistants as well as nurses in the clinical setting.  These physician extenders will be part of the study team and will be asked to help improve subject recruitment and aid in patient retention throughout the course of the research study.

Carilion Orthopaedic Clinics – The sports medicine orthopaedic clinic and affiliated physicians, have clinic facilities throughout Southwest Virginia.  The closest Carilion Orthopedic clinic is located adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus, approximately a quarter of a mile from the Granata Lab.  The orthopaedic clinics contain private exam rooms that are used by the referring physicians when they are recruiting patients for this study and where any necessary clinical evaluations will be completed.  The extended clinical team (nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and scheduling staff) are all part of our study team in order to optimize subject recruitment and aid in patient retention throughout the course of every research study. In addition, the Carilion Orthopedic facility adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus contains an outpatient physical therapy facility that can be used in the collection of physical performance tests, clinical evaluations as well as patient reported outcomes. Carilion Orthopedics also has a state of the art clinical and research space in the Institute for Orthopedics and Neurology (ION Building) located in Roanoke, VA.  This facility serves as a major referral site for patients interested in participating in our research projects.  Some of the clinical research studies in the Granata Lab will be completed in collaboration with the physician and physical therapists at the ION building in Roanoke, VA.

Athletics at Virginia Tech – The Granata Lab works closely with the sports medicine providers at Virginia Tech on both research projects as well as aiding in athlete performance testing throughout the year.  Collaborative research projects are being completed between the department of athletics and the Granata Lab.  Performance based testing and biofeedback interventions are being completed in the Virginia Tech Athletic Training Room on a variety of projects allowing the Granata Lab team to complete work in a variety of settings.

Gender Differences in the Performance Response to Brace Wear Following ACL Reconstruction

This study examines how wearing a brace changes physical performance in males and females who have undergone ACL reconstruction surgery. Subjects will perform several running, jumping, and hopping tasks both with and without a custom-fit functional knee brace. Subjects are currently being recruited for the study. Testing will be done on subjects will have undergone ACL reconstruction surgery and will be within three weeks of returning to sport-related activities. Subjects who have undergone ACL reconstruction surgery but have not yet returned to sports are encouraged to contact the lab so that we can schedule testing at the time of return to sport. Knee braces will be provided for subjects that meet all study criteria. Testing will take place in the Granata Lab during two separate sessions three months apart, with each session lasting about one hour. Subjects will be compensated $20 for each session. Please email us or call us at (540) 231-4294 if you are interested in participating in this study.

Side-to-Side Asymmetry Changes During Running

The project investigates how the asymmetry between the left and right side of a runner’s body is affected by exhaustion from longer distances. The ground reaction forces acting on the body will be assessed in a representative training environment on a path throughout the Virginia Tech campus. A volunteer between the ages of 18-35 can participate if he/she meets the following requirements:  He/she runs at least 10 miles per week, has not had an injury in the past 12 months that has kept him/her from running for more than 2 days, and has not had an injury within the past 2 months. Eligible subjects will run two runs: a short, two-mile run, and a long, four-mile run, spaced at least a week apart. The data collected from the study will be used to see if differences in asymmetry patterns exist in an outdoor training environment between long and short runs, and if differences in asymmetry patterns exist between males and females. Please email Kristen Renner if you are interested in participating in this study.

The Impact of Total Ankle Arthroplasty on Balance

The goal of this study is to investigate how having a total ankle replacement affects balance over time.  We will be examining the impact that having a total ankle replacement has on both the affected limb and the unaffected limb. When a person tries to stand still, they constantly make small changes in how their weight is distributed. With a replaced ankle joint, these changes become harder to make quickly, and patients can easily lose their balance. We will be using data that has been collected on hundreds of ankle replacement patients from before surgery though a 2 year follow-up assessment in order to understand how their balance is affected. As well as examining how these patients use other joints in order to compensate for deficiencies in mobility and proprioceptive feedback at the ankle.

Functional Outcomes after Total Hip Arthroplasty

This study examines the balance and movement of patients who have had a hip replacement surgery to find out whether one type of this surgery has better outcomes than other types. This study is currently recruiting subjects. Eligible subjects must be over the age of 18 and will have had a hip replacement without major complications six or more months ago performed at Carilion Clinic. Eligible subjects must not have ever had any other major leg injury and must not have had any leg extremity injury in the past two weeks. Testing will take place at the Carilion Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences in Roanoke and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. If you are interested in taking part in this study, please send an email to Lindsay.

Knee Loading Asymmetry and Walking Biomechanics in unilateral knee osteoarthritis

This study evaluates mechanical changes and joint loading resulting from the progression of knee osteoarthritis. Subjects will be outfitted with reflective markers and in-shoe pressure sensors while performing walking, sit-to-stand, and gait assessment testing. Subjects are currently being recruited for the study. Eligible subjects will be between the ages of 40 and 75, must have been diagnosed with unilateral knee osteoarthritis, may not have pain in their other knee, a previous joint replacement, neurological disease, and must not have any assistive device impacting balance and walking. Testing will take place during one session in the Granata Lab and will last approximately 1 hour. Please email us or call us at (540) 231-4294 if you are interested in participating in this study.