Musculoskeletal System Research

Musculoskeletal system research in Dr. Kaufman's Motion Analysis Laboratory has several focus areas:

Prospective trial comparing functional outcomes after kinematic alignment and mechanical alignment in total knee arthroplasty

The Motion Analysis Lab research team is comparing function and subjective outcomes of two different total knee arthroplasty alignment methods: kinematic and mechanical.

The lab hypothesizes that performing total knee arthroplasty using kinematic alignment has superior outcomes when compared with the classic mechanical alignment for total knee replacement.

A prospective randomized clinical trial comparing functional and radiographic outcomes of robotically assisted vs. manually executed total knee arthroplasties

In this study, Dr. Kaufman and his research team are exploring whether there are any differences in functional outcomes between two different surgical procedures for total knee replacement: robotically assisted versus manually executed total knee arthroplasty.

The study is designed to address the major short-term clinically important issues between the two types of procedures, with special emphasis on functional outcome. Patients are randomized to receive either a robotically assisted procedure or a manually executed procedure.

Development of a microsensor for intramuscular pressure

The lab's research in this area is aimed at developing a fiber-optic microsensor to measure intramuscular pressure, determining the relationship between intramuscular pressure and muscle tension under dynamic conditions for normal muscle in an animal model, developing a mathematical model of intramuscular pressure, and conducting in vivo human experiments to evaluate the neurophysiology of intramuscular pressure.

In vivo testing of the sensor is being conducted in various participant groups, including young and older healthy adults, and in adults with steroid-induced myopathies.

Effect of treatment on activity and muscle function in pediatric patients with scoliosis

The Motion Analysis Lab's goal in this focus area is to understand the effect of the treatment of scoliosis on patients' lives, beyond radiographic findings.

The lab hypothesizes that after surgical or bracing scoliosis treatment, patients are significantly less active in the free-living environment, are subject to atrophy, and undergo physical changes of their spinal musculature.

Researchers are working to quantify the effect of scoliosis treatment on patients' lives to develop interventions during scoliosis treatment that will optimize functional outcomes for patients.

Cancer-associated muscle atrophy and weakness: An investigation of etiology and an assessment of treatment with activated vitamin D

The Motion Analysis Laboratory is providing strength and activity measurements for a multidisciplinary team investigating muscle wasting in patients with cancer.

The first study examines a cross section of healthy adults and patients with cancer who have had weight loss. The second study is interventional, offering activated vitamin D to patients with cancer. A final study examines the inspiratory muscle strength in patients receiving a combination of activated vitamin D or a placebo and inspiratory resistance training or a sham treatment.

Ergonomics of surgery study

The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of surgeon fatigue during an animal model simulated surgery. The Motion Analysis Lab is measuring electromyography and upper extremity movements in groups of surgeons with different expertise levels while completing procedures of varying difficulty.

Activity levels in patients with idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus

Staff members in our lab are using activity monitors to measure activity in patients before and after placement of a shunt in older adults with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. The goal is to quantify changes in gait and help surgeons better determine optimal shunt settings for individual patients.


Normative values for upper extremity kinematics and electromyography during the forehand and backhand movement currently don't exist. The Motion Analysis Lab is collecting a normative database of competitive junior tennis athletes. This normative data is useful in comparing patients with pain or athletes wishing to undergo a performance improvement assessment.

Low back pain

Low back pain is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the United States. Exercises are commonly prescribed to patients with low back pain, but compliance with exercise completion is key to improvement of symptoms. The goal of this study is to compare exercise compliance in groups who are given exercises alone, those doing the exercises with the aid of an electronic monitor, and those using the monitor and having regular touch points with a health coach.