1.A method for completely non-invasive motion tracking in sea animals - Humans aren't the only animals who need care after injury; and a lot can be learned about the idiosyncrasies of pathologic gait from working with a wide variety of patients (including natural waddlers). We developed a protocol for quantifying aspects of gait in "unusual ambulators" with the help of three South African penguins from Mystic Aquarium.
Claire Cunningham, Sarah French, Allison Kritter, Colleen Clark, Jessica Belair, Meghan Terry, Danielle Baril (Michael Wininger, advisor, not pictured)
2.Physical function and quality of life of ambulatory children with cerebral palsy -
Students performing retrospective chart review of large multi center dataset (over 1,000 patients). Statistical modeling techniques will be utilized to determine the characteristics of children for whom surgery is associated with improved physical function and quality of life. This group of students worked very hard in developing the research protocol and extracting data elements. Data extraction will require another semester of work and statistical modeling will occur over the next year.
Elizabeth Barber, Natalie Marble, Nicholle Michaud, Mary Gannotti (advisor), Audrey Webber, Meghan Kokas, Kathryn Betts (George Gorton, advisor, not pictured)
3.Diggin’ Deep: Determining the relationship between agility, lower extremity coordination and sensory integration on walking balance -The role of visual focus in walking balance was described by eliciting balance corrections on standard treadmill and a rotating (ie, perturbing) treadmill while subjects either looked down or at stationary visual cues in front of them. Balance (measured as body motion) was significantly worse (larger body motion) looking down only in perturbed conditions. Additional tests revealed that abnormal use of vestibular feedback likely contributed to the increased body motion observed when looking down in perturbed conditions.
Evan Gonzalez, Caitlin Guzy, Nick Mccool, Michelle Kunsman (advisor), Molly Bloom, Katie Perrone, , Michelle Orelli, Ellen Bond, Megan Ferris, Mark Pillsbury, Amanda Dileo, Adam Goodworth (advisor), Aly Smollen ( Brittany Cox not pictured)
4.Relationship of arch height to foot placement angle and movements of the leg, midfoot and rearfoot during gait - Kinetic Chain theory purports that ground reaction forces acting through the foot and ankle influence loading and movement throughout the body. The low arch foot is presumed more flexible, it is thought to allow greater pronation - foot turn out, arch flattening, rear foot eversion, with greater internal leg rotation. Many studies have examined rear-foot eversion, some mid-foot motion (navicular drop), and a few have examined leg rotation, yet the kinetic chain theory remains unvalidated. A reported lack of reliability and subjectivity amongst measurement techniques may be the fundamental problem. We started with a simple repeatable reference posture - relaxed standing - and examined gait differences amongst typical individuals based on foot types. Our findings reject conventional assumptions. We demonstrate increased inversion and more in-line stepping for typical individuals with a low-arch foot suggesting a more adaptive supinatory strategy during gait.
Kevin Ball (advisor), Erika Schramm, Leah Hughes, Karen Alberding, Carolyn Grime, Elyse Harrop, Nazar Dzidzitsky, John Leard (advisor)
5.Prosthetic training across borders - Rehabilitation education materials have been developed on behalf of LIMBS International for clinicians and patients receiving above-knee prosthetic devices in developing countries. Local and international field testing is scheduled for the spring 2014. This testing will include assessment of the education materials, patients’ level of physical and knowledge comprehension and physical performance testing.
Jaime Bick, Katelynd O'Neil, Brandi Carmody, Diana Veneri (advisor), Amanda Russo, Kelly McCormack, Diana Kornberg
6. A comparative study of AFO stiffness - The project seeks to establish a testing protocol to compare the stiffness of AFO's that will assist clinicians in decision making.
David Knapp (advisor), Paul Bartoo, Kate Cutugno, Alex Davis, Carolyn Kauert, Tom DeLaroche, Edgar Rodriguez
7. Adding a 10 minute dynamic balance training program to current strength and conditioning practice will improve stability and agility as it relates to athletic performanc - A dynamic balance program was developed as part of an athletic training program. The goal of the program was to show that training dynamic balance over a six week period would enhance athletic performance as it relates to stability and agility.
Paul Higgins (advisor), Lindsay Ford, Ryan Serbel, Allison Connell, Jason Mussman, Filip Nickolic, Chris Boylan
8. Rehabilitation for an individual with an incomplete spinal cord injury using the ICARE - Approximately 1,275,000 individuals in the United States live with spinal cord injuries, with 52.6% of these injuries being of an incomplete nature. Rehabilitation following an iSCI no longer focuses on compensating for disability, but aims at functional recovery. One method of locomotor training, Body Weight Support Treadmill Training (BWSTT) relies on skilled therapists to facilitate proper stepping patterns at each leg. BWSTT is shown to improve strength, locomotion, balance, and cardiovascular health in patients with iSCI however a more resource and cost effective solution is desired. The Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical (ICARE) is a therapeutic system that guides the feet through a closed chain motion resulting in joint kinematics and muscle demands comparable to walking. In collaboration with the Hospital for Special Care, a case study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation in a 56 yr old male who had experienced an iSCI four years prior. The rehabilitation training included use of the ICARE and traditional physical therapy, for a total of 9 weeks. Clinical measures and laboratory data were collected at base line and for three other visits separated by 3 weeks each, to assess changes in strength, balance and gait. Our findings indicate considerable successes in the rehabilitative process. The subject’s performance on the balance measures in particular showed great improvements - we propose that it is the reciprocal guided stepping while balancing characteristics of the ICARE that may be its most effective attribute. Functional outcomes indicate reduced risk of falling, improved gait speed and stability, and the subject reports "I am a believer” - his quality of life has increased. In summary, this case study supports the use of the ICARE as an effective and system for the rehabilitation of a person with an iSCI.
Catherine Feeney (advisor), Dan Granton, Adam Brown, Kate Anusewicz, Laura Ackerson, Rebecca Alaimo, Kara Kuchachik, Karen Church, Kevin Ball (advisor)
9. Meshed ventilated socket system - This group was formed to validate two primary goals related to a mesh ventilated prosthetic socket, develop a protocol for gathering heat dissipation data and to confirm heat transfer through conduction or convection of the mesh panel. The socket concept was initially developed at the Shriner's Hospital in Springfield, Mass. with positive outcomes reported by patients. Empirical data and a standardized fabrication protocol may allow this ventilation system to be an effective means of passively cooling the prosthetic socket; and assist in resolving a frequently occurring user problem.
Ryan Pane, Melissa Bendidette, Cassie Gorman, Anthony Freallo (advisors: Duffy Felmlee, Dave Knapp, Matt Parente, Michael Wininger - not pictured)