Current methods for treating post-traumatic joint stiffness (PTJS), a common clinical problem following elbow surgeries which causes functional impairment of the limb, have proven insufficient.1 The main factors that expose the elbow joint to this complication are a high degree of congruence, the complexity of the joint surfaces and the high tissue sensitivity to trauma, especially the joint capsule.1 As a result, the Lake laboratory is working with elbow tissue to determine how the injury presents itself. With a deeper understanding of the injury, the lab hopes to develop more effective prevention and treatment methods for PTJS. Before the fall of 2016, the lab successfully developed an animal model for the injury which can lead to PTJS. This model utilizes surgically injured elbows of Long-Evans rats. Currently, the lab is using this model to further understand the injury. In order to explore the presentation of the injury, the lab would like to use gait analysis. Gait analysis, or the examination of the steps and stepping patterns of the rats, provides an effective method to test the consequences of physical and drug therapy in a noninvasive manner. This is because walking is a natural behavior and therefore can be used to compare an injured rat to control. Gait analysis quantifies the consequences of injuries and provides useful data which can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the injury. Before the fall of 2016, DigiGait, an automated gait analysis system, was used with minimal success. Thus, the laboratory decided to pursue other methods.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission