The research of Melissa M. Morrow, Ph.D., is focused on investigating causes, treatments and outcomes of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, with a special emphasis on women's musculoskeletal health.
Using advanced techniques in laboratory motion analysis, field-based activity monitoring and imaging, she is examining knee osteoarthritis, joint replacement and shoulder impingement.
- Sex differences in knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the knee is a leading cause of disability in the U.S., as it affects more than 10 million adults. While both men and women are diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis at troubling rates, women have a higher prevalence and incidence than men.
Despite increased prevalence and severity in women, less attention has been given to factors potentially specific to women. The goal of this research is to characterize the differences in disease severity, manifestation and outcomes between men and women with knee osteoarthritis.
- Activity and motion monitoring in the field as evidence-based outcomes measures following rehabilitation or orthopedic surgery. Multiple projects are ongoing that use advanced devices for kinematic monitoring of subject activities in their home and community environments to enable a real-world assessment of therapeutic outcomes.
- Shoulder pain and injury in manual wheelchair users. The overall goal of this work is to identify the key factors that contribute to shoulder pain and injury in the manual wheelchair population.
With this information, Dr. Morrow and her colleagues can identify types of activities or types of loading that place a manual wheelchair user at an increased risk of shoulder pain and injury. This information can be used to aid in rehabilitation and prevention strategies to mitigate the risk of injury.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Morrow's research is aimed at improving patient care through identifying and reducing risk factors for orthopedic conditions and improving treatment through comprehensive outcomes studies.