Functional Movement Analysis
Our interdisciplinary working group focuses on different components of musculoskeletal disorders by combining different analyzes, observations and models.
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Arthritis is a degenerative disease that generally describes joint wear exceeding age-related physiological changes. This disease presents as one of two different forms: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While OA develops due to increased loading, joint malalignment or bone deformation, rheumatoid arthritis describes a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder.
Both diseases can only be radiographically detected at an advanced time point when a conservative therapy is no longer sufficient, leaving only operative interventions as an option. We aim to detect and diagnose these diseases earlier, in order to preventively decelerate degenerative processes. A first approach involves the detection of functional changes in the joint kinematics of patients or subjects with an increased risk for degeneration, due to injury or joint malalignment (compare ‘Functional Adaptation’). To achieve this, we are currently developing methods for the precise quantification of functional joint instabilities, specifically in the knee and the metacarpophalangeal joint.
To determine the early onset of degeneration, pathological changes on both the structural and on the molecular level must first be detected. Therefore, established techniques have been employed in order to assess changes in tibio-femoral cartilage as well as in molecular biomarkers (obtained from serum and urine) that indicate degeneration and synthesis.
A detailed knowledge about the associations of functional joint instabilities and changes of cartilage volume and molecular biomarkers define a long-term aim that we want to investigate within different projects.