The Research

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Foot Problems

Dr. Golightly is involved in several studies of the foot in collaboration with Dr. Jordan and Dr. Marian Hannan ((Harvard University, Hebrew Senior Life, Boston, MA).  These studies examine data from the Johnston County OA Project and the Framingham Foot Study to look at foot pain, foot disorders, biomechanics and arch height of the foot, and genetics. This research has shown that foot pain and foot disorders (such as bunions or hammer toes) are common among adults, foot pain is related to poorer physical function, the percent of people with certain foot disorders and low arches differed by race.  Dr. Golightly’s interest in foot problems and assessment of foot pain and function led to her receiving advanced training in psychometrics with support from an Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award to study the psychometric properties of the Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS).

Current research is examining the psychometric properties of the 42-item Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) subscales (pain, other symptoms, activities of daily living, sport and recreational function, and foot and ankle related quality of life in a large, community-based sample of African American and Caucasian men and women from the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. The FAOS exhibited sufficient reliability and validity in this large cohort study.

For more information, please see the following publications: 1, 2, 3


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Leg Length Inequality and Osteoarthritis

Dr. Golightly is involved in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis (OA) Project with Dr. Joanne Jordan.  Her research using data from this project has demonstrated an association between leg length inequality (a person has one leg longer than the other) and knee and hip OA.  This work has led to her KL2 career development award that looks at measurement of leg length inequality and a shoe lift intervention.

This research will look at aspects of refining and correcting limb length inequality in adults with knee or hip symptoms as part of the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project.

  • Leg length inequality is when a person has one leg that is longer than the other.  This study will:
    • examine the reliability and validity of clinical assessment methods for measuring leg length inequality
    • determine whether there is an association between foot posture (flat foot, normal, and high arch) and leg length inequality
    • examine shoe lifts as a treatment for leg length inequality and knee/hip symptoms.
For more information, please see the following publications: 1, 2, 3

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Biomarkers and Osteoarthritis

Dr. Golightly’s work has shown that higher baseline levels of two biomarkers (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and hyaluronan) predicted the development of knee OA, an important result that suggests the utility of these biomarkers for early detection of knee OA.

For more information, please see the following publication: 1

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Injury and Osteoarthritis

Dr. Golightly collaborates with Dr. Steve Marshall, Director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, on injury and OA research.  Their work on injury and OA in retired National Football League (NFL) players demonstrated early onset of arthritis in these former athletes compared to the general U.S. male population.

For more information, please see the following publication: 1