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NEUROMUSCULAR FUNCTION AFTER ACL RECONSTRUCTION
Identification of individuals at risk for poor outcomes following ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is an essential step in facilitating a timely, safe, and healthy return to physical activity. Our research focuses on identifying peripheral and central neuromuscular risk factors for compromised joint health and poor knee related outcomes following ACLR. Currently, the SIRL is utilizing a variety of techniques including assessment of muscle function, direct and indirect assessment of muscle structure, and 3D biomechanical analysis to pursue this area of research.
CLINICAL INTERVENTION AFTER ACL RECONSTRUCTION
Improving quadriceps strength and knee joint function can be a frustrating goal following ACLR. In many cases, individuals experience plateaus in quadriceps function and overall functional performance late in the rehabilitation process or after return to physical activity that are not adequately addressed using common strength training approaches. Our research focuses on the integration of disinhibitory modalities such as cryotherapy and electrical stimulation into the rehabilitation process in an attempt to facilitate clinically meaningful improvements following ACLR.
RESPONSE TO FATIGUING EXERCISE AFTER ACL RECONSTRUCTION
Return to physical activity is a common goal for clinicians and patients following ACLR. Unfortunately, as few as 45-66% of those with a history of ACLR will return to full physical activity within 2 years of surgery. Our research focuses on understanding the impact of ACLR on physical activity behaviors and response to bouts of exercise in otherwise healthy individuals. This area of research integrates common orthopaedic outcomes following ACLR into a broader health related approach to sports medicine research.
INNOVATIVE ASSESSMENT OF LOWER EXTREMITY FUNCTION
Cost effective and objective assessment of lower extremity function represents a potential improvement over standard tools for clinical evaluation of injury risk factors as well as progression throughout clinical rehabilitation. Our current research focuses on the integration of commercially available video game technology as well as basic clinical equipment to facilitate easy objective measurement of lower extremity function in the clinical environment.