NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Grant
Ithaca College Rochester Faculty is awarded NIH Grant to Study Foot Tendon Injury
The collaborative team that included Dr. Sam Flemister, Christopher Neville, MS, PT and Jeff Houck, PhD, PT was currently awarded a an Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) or R15 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effect of exercise on a specific tendon injury of the foot. Two years of work, supported by small grants from the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society and Louis A. Goldstein Award from the University of Rochester helped generate 4 published preliminary studies that led to the award. This research team developed as part of the Center for Foot and Ankle Research, a collaboration between the University of Rochester and Ithaca College Movement Analysis Laboratory. Jeff Houck, PhD, PT is the primary investigator on the grant and Sam Flemister, MD, from the University of Rochester, is the co-investigator. Chris Neville, MS, PT will be acting as study coordinator.
The main thrust of the 2 year, $ 209, 000 award, is to study the benefits of exercise in subjects with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD). The cause of PTTD is unknown, however, it is the number one cause of acquired flatfoot deformity in adults. Interestingly, 8 of 10 subjects with PTTD are women over the age of 45 years old. Dysfunction of the posterior tibial tendon is believed to cause flatfoot deformity as the tendon dysfunction progresses. Currently the main non-surgical treatment is bracing, a passive treatment. The grant award will allow the study team to evaluate the effect of the combination of bracing and exercise, an active treatment, to enhance recovery and prevent flatfoot deformity in subjects with PTTD.
Testing will include state of the art engineering techniques to capture foot movements during walking in the Ithaca College Movement Analysis Laboratory. The study team worked collaboratively to develop novel methods to assess muscle strength, capture foot motion and develop exercises as part of the preliminary work to earn this award. Ithaca College physical therapy students will participate in the studies by assisting with data collection, performing treatments on study subjects and analyzing data. They will also assist with publishing the results at national and international meetings.
Team Members Center for Foot and Ankle Research Include:
Deborah Nawoczenski, PhD, PT, Professor, Ithaca College – Rochester
Judith Baumhauer, MD Associate Professor, University of Rochester
Joshua Tome, MS, Research Biomechanist, Ithaca College – Rochester
Christopher Neville, MS PT, Research Assistant, Ithaca College Movement Analysis Laboratory
Benedict DiGiovani, MD University of Rochester
Adolph S. Flemister, MD, University of Rochester
Jeff Houck, PhD, PT Associate Professor, Ithaca College – Rochester