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US Department of Defense awards University of South Florida $1.59 million for musculoskeletal research
Date:9/22/2011

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The double-blind randomized trial will enroll 28 physically fit people. Half will be high-functioning amputee soldiers and veterans recruited from the Wounded Warriors Project, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals. The other half (control group) will be non-amputees, including accomplished civilian athletes and law enforcement officers.

Participants will be evaluated wearing each of the three different prosthetics both in USF's Human Functional Performance Laboratory, where they will walk and run on treadmills, and at Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office training facilities, where they will perform tactical maneuvers like charging up inclines, climbing ropes and slalom running that requires a combination of speed, agility and balance. Non-amputees will undergo the same tasks in both settings. In the lab, the researchers will monitor such measures as range of joint motion, prosthetic foot power, oxygen consumed and energy expended. In the field, they will evaluate gait efficiency, prosthetic preference and task difficulty as rated by study participants.

"We're upping the ante on the scientific rigor applied to prosthetic research," Highsmith said. "Anything we can do to advance knowledge, reduce disability and improve the lives of our wounded soldiers who have served our country so selflessly and constantly seek to stretch their limits is valuable."

Advanced prosthetic research involving military amputees may ultimately benefit civilian amputees with physically challenging occupations or recreational pursuits such as firefighters, police officers, marathon runners and rock climbers, he added.


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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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US Department of Defense awards University of South Florida $1.59 million for musculoskeletal research
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