Overview: My research laboratory is committed to developing noninvasive methods of assessing skeletal muscle function in clinical populations. The methods should be inexpensive, easy to perform, and should accurately assess function in a variety of skeletal muscles. Problem statement: risk of re-injury after knee surgery is particularity high, and previous results have suggested reduced muscle endurance of the hamstring muscles is a potential cause. However, rehabilitation after knee injury focuses on strength and range of motion, not muscle endurance. The use of a simple fatigue test for the hamstring muscle can guide rehabilitation therapy and assure return of muscle endurance, thus reducing risk of re-injury. Solution: The technology needed is a simple accelerometer, a electrical stimulator capable of stimulating at 5 Hz, and an analysis Ap. The technology being developed is the analysis Ap that can direct data collection, data storage and data interpretation. The technology needed has been developed and initial results have been published. Version one of the Ap has been developed but additional testing of the concept and Ap development are needed. Future plans include publishing supporting research and developing a commercial version of the Ap. Competition: Alternative approaches require use of maximal voluntary efforts with specialized and expensive ergometers, which can be difficult or unsafe for patients recovering from knee surgery. The approach also can be easily applied to other muscles, such as the tibialis anterior for patients with foot drop. The primary barrier to adoption are the need for more publications that validate the approach, and improving ease of use. Several research laboratories have adopted the method and the method will be developed by a start up software company (Infrared Rx, Inc).
Upon completion, participant will be able to describe how muscle activation differs between voluntary, muscle electrical stimulation, and nerve electrical stimulation
Upon completion, participant will understand the rationale for the design of the muscle specific endurance test and it benefits for testing patient populations
Upon completion, participant will understand the equipment and resources necessary to perform the muscle endurance testing
Upon completion, participant will be able to perform the muscle specific endurance test on human subjects
Upon completion, participant will be able to analyze and interpret data from the muscle specific endurance test