Public Release: 

Dr. Barrance of Kessler Foundation awarded $600,000 NIDRR grant to study arthritis of knee

Study will fund MRI research of in-shoe orthoses for treatment of knee osteoarthritis

Kessler Foundation

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IMAGE: Dr. Barrance is senior research scientist in Human Performance & Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation. view more

Credit: Kessler Foundation

West Orange, NJ. November 12, 2014. Peter Barrance, PhD, of Kessler Foundation, was awarded a three-year field-initiated grant by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (H133G140183). Dr. Barrance, senior research scientist in Human Performance & Engineering Research, will use weight-bearing MRI to study the effects of in-shoe orthoses in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee. Dr Peter Barrance is the study's principal investigator and Jeffrey Cole, MD, at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is the physician co-investigator.

Arthritis is one of the most prevalent causes of disability in the United States. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, can be debilitating in weight-bearing joints, including the knee. Because of the high cost and risk associated with surgical interventions, there is interest in noninvasive low-cost interventions such as footwear modifications. However, the efficacy of a commonly prescribed modification - medial/lateral wedging - in relieving pain and restoring function remains unclear. Forty-four participants with functional limitations caused by knee osteoarthritis will be recruited for this new study, which aims to refine the prescribing of in-shoe footwear modifications, using the weight-bearing MRI technology developed under a previously funded NIDRR Field-Initiated Development program.

"Our hypothesis," said Dr. Barrance, "is that in-shoe footwear modifications, prescribed on a patient-specific basis with the benefit of weightbearing MRI, can be clinically effective in reducing the burden of pain and mobility limitation associated with knee osteoarthritis."

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Recent publication: Barrance PB, et al. American Society of Biomechanics Clinical Biomechanics Award 2013: Tibiofemoral contact location changes associated with lateral heel wedging--A weight bearing MRI study. Clinical Biomechanics. Epub Sept 4. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2014.08.014

About Human Performance & Engineering Research

Under the directorship of Guang Yue, PhD, Human Performance & Engineering Research conducts a variety of mobility rehabilitation and related biomechanical and neurophysiological research studies with funding from National Institutes of Health, NIDRR, New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury Research, Craig Neilsen Foundation, Department of Defense, and Kessler Foundation. The research scientists have faculty appointments at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.

Carolann Murphy, PA; 973.324.8382; cmurphy@KesslerFoundation.org

Lauren Scrivo, 973.324.8384/973.768.6583 (cell); LScrivo@KesslerFoundation.org

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