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LECOM Conducting Innovative Research Study into Musculoskeletal Health

LECOM Musculoskeletal Institute Seeking Patients for Shoulder Impairment Research Study.

Watch Video : Musculoskeletal Institute Press Conference

Erie, PA. – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) announced today the start of research into one of the most disabling and costly afflictions  suffered by Americans.  Musculoskeletal disorders, such as acute joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, sports trauma, and other ailments accounted for 18% of all health care visits.

Using new technology developed by medAppraise, Inc. of Sarasota Florida, LECOM researchers will be able to track and rate joint movement in injured and non-injured test subjects. This will set a baseline before the research team begins therapeutic treatment using physical therapy and osteopathic manipulation.  Eventually, the research will determine the effectiveness of these treatments.

According to the US Bone and Joint Initiative, 126.6 million Americans are affected by a musculoskeletal condition, costing approximately $213 billion per annum to treat.  Worldwide, musculoskeletal conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and the most costly of all disease categories, accounting for one-fourth of the total global cost of illness.

The researchers will investigate better treatment options for musculoskeletal disorders starting with a study of shoulder injuries. The study will take place at LECOM’s John M. & Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness & Wellness Center in Erie, Pa. under the direction of the study’s principal investigator Joshua Tuck, D.O. Dr. Tuck is an orthopedic surgeon and director of the LECOM Musculoskeletal Institute with Medical Associates of Erie, the clinical practices of LECOM Health.

The study seeks to enroll 100 people with no shoulder injuries to create a baseline and 100 with impaired shoulder function and mobility related to arthritis, trauma, and sports injuries to be included in the treatment group. Those in the treatment group will receive either hands-on treatment with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) or Physical Therapy shoulder treatments. The evaluation and treatment will start in January 2019.

Working with the wellness center staff, Dr. Tuck will evaluate these patients using technology developed by medAppraise, Inc., which has developed a proprietary system designed to measure the musculoskeletal (MS) health of an individual. According to medAppraise CEO Robert Bilkovski, M.D. the Musculoskeletal Disorder Reporting System (MSDR®) can provide measurement of MS function across four body quadrants: cervical, lumbar, upper extremity and lower extremity. The MSDR® is a software system that delivers objective information on biomechanical function and risk of musculoskeletal disorder through its proprietary algorithms.

The MSDR® consists of two components. The first is a questionnaire that evaluates the subjects’ risk factor for MS dysfunction, including but not limited to prior surgery, current pain medication therapy, anatomic location and frequency of pain.  The second component has the research subject complete a series of range of motion movements. With 3D sensors attached to a subject’s joints, MDSR® collects quantitative biometric information that will combine with the qualitative assessment to generate the MSDR® results.  As the subject runs through various range of motion tests, the MSDR® provides a linear score that ranges from normal/absent risk (100) to very high risk (399) and changes in response to deterioration or improvement in MS condition.  The MSDR® is completed in less than 30 minutes.

Dr. Tuck is working with LECOM Wellness Center Fitness Director Jake Johnson and the wellness center staff to recruit test subjects starting with non-injured members of the wellness center. The staffs at the LECOM Wellness Center and the Musculoskeletal Institute are also seeking test subjects with shoulder injuries who can start participating in treatment in January.  Joining Dr. Tuck in the treatment phase of the study are LECOM Sports Medicine physician Chris Rial, D.O. and Steve Burke, Director of Physical Therapy at Millcreek Community Hospital.  Faculty from the LECOM Masters in Health Services Administration will help with the evaluation of data collected by the research team.

For more information call the LECOM Orthopedic office at (814) 868-7840 or visit the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, 5401 Peach Street, Erie, Pennsylvania, 16509 or call (814) 868-7800.

About the Technology

The medAppraise MusculoSkeletal Disorder Reporting system –MSDR® is a sophisticated, web-based platform technology that assesses an individual’s musculoskeletal wellness using self-reported health information and objective biometric data. Use of the MSDR® is aimed to reduce occupational injuries and Workers’ Compensation claims, but may also assist clinicians in improving treatment of MS disorders.

The MSDR® assessment’s proprietary, clinically derived algorithms identify complicating factors resulting from vocational and avocational activities reported by the individual; 3-D motion capture technology measures range of motion, determines when pain occurs and assesses body symmetry or asymmetry.

The MSDR® assessment is designed to identify an individual’s weakest physical link and its effect on the individual’s musculoskeletal condition.  Unlike most risk forecast methods, MSDR® is not based on any one theory or on any single school of thought.  Instead, the algorithms used in the assessment were developed by focusing on medical research in multiple medical disciplines, including orthopedics, occupational medicine, neurology, chiropractic, physical therapy and general practice to determine the existence of a musculoskeletal injury or the risk of incurring one in the future.