Clinical Motion Analysis

Community Outreach





Test Capabilities





Assessing Balance, Gait, and Falls in Elderly African-Americans with Hypertension

Normal age related and age associated changes in the cardiovascular system are contributors to hypertensive diseases in the elderly. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) shows that elderly African-Americans demonstrate a higher occurrence of hypertension (66.9%) as compared to all adults age 65 and older (50.1%). Additionally, these changes contribute to increased fall risk among the elderly such that greater than one-third of those age 65 and older experience falls annually. Blood pressure changes associated with hypertension contribute to decreased brain and muscle tissue perfusion which, in turn, increases the risk of falls in the elderly. The primary objective of this study is to decrease the number of falls in community dwelling elderly African-Americans with hypertension. The effect of falls can include physical limitations, increased cost of care or even death. This study will help with identification of those elderly African-Americans who are at high risk for falls. This study will offer a basis for developing fall prevention programs to help community dwelling elderly African-Americans maintain independent living and a better quality of life for as long as possible.

This 2 year pilot study; (6/2009 – 5/2011) coordinated by Judy Foxworth, PT, PhD, OCS is funded ($70,000) by the Center for Research to Improve Minority Health and Eliminate Health Disparities through an EXPORT grant (NIH 5P20 MD002303-03).

Effects of Acetabular Labral Tears on Proprioceptive Parameters of the Human Hip Joint

Acetabular labral tears constitute a relatively common pathology in younger, highly active, and athletic populations. While this intraarticular lesion poses significant morbidity and activity restrictions, historically there have been very limited treatment options due to the activity limitations and wear associated with traditional prosthetic arthroplasties.   Furthermore, labral tears present diagnostic challenges, even with the advent of newer imaging modalities, and definitive diagnoses often depends on arthroscopic procedures. Though the limitations in activity of the pathology are known, we are aware of no study that investigated differences in balance between labral tear patients and normal controls.  We hypothesize that labral tears are associated with decreased hip joint proprioception as quantified with established balance measurements.

Stair Climbing

StairsClimbing stairs is an important activity of daily living. For patients with muscle weakness or arthritis, ascending and descending stairs can be very difficult, if not impossible. Being able to negotiate stairs could dramatically improve the quality of life of these individuals with physical impairments. In the HPB Lab, we are currently investigating how different surgical techniques and joint replacements effect how patients negotiate a simple set of stairs. We are also interested in how volunteers with knee arthritis climb stairs with the help of an assistive walking device.

Joint Movements in Working Dogs

dogdog3Working dogs perform a variety of important tasks for the military and law enforcement officials. These special dogs are routinely asked to perform various movements that include explosives detection, patrol and sentry, search and rescue, and missing persons tracking. Due to these physically demanding activities many of these dogs suffer from joint related disabilities. The purpose of the current project is to incorporate multi-slice CT, motion capture, and computer animation to model joint movements in these working dogs. With the information gained from this work, we hope to provide early detection and treatment to minimize loss of man-hours, financial investment, and mission readiness. We are collaborating with researchers from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, the Center for Biomolecular Imaging at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and the Department of Fine Art at Winston-Salem State University.

Hip Joint Loading during the Golf Swing

GolfGolf is a sport that has become universally popular in today’s society. According to the National Golf Foundation, approximately 28.6 million individuals above the age of 6 participate in the sport. Golf is not considered a high impact sport, and therefore is considered a safe sport to return to even after major hip surgeries. Ninety-nine percent of orthopedic surgeons have no restrictions on returning to golf following a total hip replacement. The golf swing is a complex, multijoint, multiplanar movement with the hip serving as an important transitional link between the lumbar spine and the knee. There is a dearth of information in the literature concerning biomechanical forces of the hip during a golf swing. Currently, there are no clear guidelines concerning when it is advisable to return to golf after an injury to the hip. It is also unknown whether there should be different considerations concerning return to golf based on injuries in the trail versus the lead hip. The primary purpose of this research is to describe the forces and moments occurring about the hip during a typical golf swing performed by male golfers.