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Dr. Kelli Allen, a Professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, has been awarded a 2 ½ year grant, “Improving Physical Activity and Gait Symmetry after Total Knee Arthroplasty,” from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). This exploratory clinical trial will address two important challenges that occur following total knee arthroplasty.

First, most people remain physically inactive following surgery, and second, many people continue to place greater weight on their non-surgical leg when walking. These activity patterns have negative consequences for both joint health and overall health.

In the trial, Dr. Allen and colleagues will test a novel program, delivered by UNC physical therapists, that augments typical rehabilitation by targeting “return to healthy level” physical activity levels and biomechanical patterns. The study will also be using an innovative in-shoe sensor to measure the loads that participants place on each foot while walking and doing other daily tasks.

This study is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the UNC Departments of Orthopedics, Allied Health Sciences (Division of Physical Therapy) and Nutrition, UNC Rehabilitation Services, and the Virginia Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.