Measuring landing mechanics during rehabilitation from an ACL reconstruction

Unfortunately, athletes returning to sport following ACL reconstruction surgery currently have a high risk for secondary injuries. In this project, we are measuring lower extremity mechanics during jump-landing tasks in various outpatient physical therapy clinics in Southwest Virginia. Our lab recently found that force sensing shoe insoles and 2D video analysis are valid and repeatable for assessing landing kinetics and kinematics, respectively. Our long term goal is to use these clinically feasible technologies to both help physical therapists train patients to land better and help surgeons decide if a patient is ready to return to sport. 

Validation of COM Measures with MetaMotionR in relation to Gait Asymmetry and Balance Picture

This project aims to validate the use of an IMU sensor, MetaMotionR, in assessing balance using center of mass (COM) measures, in comparison to 3D motion capture. This could serve as a potential cheaper alternative for biomechanists and clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of balance-related pathologies. Broadly, this project also aims to help bridge the gap in our understanding of human balance capabilities. Establishing a baseline of balance performance in healthy people is necessary for comparisons of balance disruptions generated in association with musculoskeletal pathologies, following surgical interventions, for setting target levels for rehabilitation, and for injury prevention. Quantifying a normal and healthy range of balance performance in a large and diverse population will aid in establishing clinical and functional benchmarks in evaluating injury risk and recovery. This  will also contribute to understand how balance performance differs between different groups including sex, race, and age. 

Determining Accuracy and Repeatability of an Instrumented Knee Brace

Up to 250,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur in the United States annually, with many injured individuals undergoing ACL reconstruction (ACLR) surgery. Physicians often prescribe braces for ACLR patients during return to sport, as brace wear has been shown to improve movement mechanics and reduce the risk of a second injury. However, brace compliance remains an issue and currently there is no way to monitor compliance and activity levels in ACLR patients. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine if an instrumented knee brace can accurately measure activity through step count and knee angles, and to determine if it is valid compared to motion capture technology and repeatable between days. 

Effects of Ankle Braces on Foot Posture

Understanding the mechanics of the foot and ankle and the causes of injury is crucial for preventing injuries in the future. Common preventative measures include in-shoe orthoses, ankle taping, and ankle braces. Braces and taping have been shown to reduce both the occurrence and the severity of ankle sprains, with braces being more effective. Even though bracing has been shown to be effective for preventing ankle sprains, little research has been done into their effect on irregular foot posture. If ankle braces can be shown to effectively correct foot posture in the second portion of this study, they can serve as an affordable and easily accessible preventative measure for the injuries that may result due to abnormal arch height or rearfoot angle.

Load Based Biofeedback during Walking After a Knee Replacement

Over 700,000 people undergo a knee replacement surgery each year in the United States to manage joint pain resulting from severe knee osteoarthritis. This project focuses on determining specific differences between older adults with a knee replacement and healthy older adults during walking. This information will inform a biofeedback intervention for total knee replacement patients which will aim at assisting this population to walk more similarly to their healthy peers.

Reduction of Risk Factors for ACL Re-injuries using an Innovative Biofeedback Approach

ACL injuries are common among athletes and due to residual muscle weakness, limited knee motion and asymmetrical movement patterns after surgery many of these athletes will sustain secondary ACL injuries following return to sports. This project seeks to determine if a novel biofeedback-based rehabilitation approach can decrease a known risk factor for secondary injuries to the ACL. The project specifically focuses on correcting asymmetric movement patterns, a known risk factor for secondary injury that is not directly addressed by existing interventions through a 6 week therapy based biofeedback intervention.

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.