Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health Outcomes through High Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (HR-pQCT)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Department of Defense has made a strong research commitment to address the key elements posing a direct threat to the resilience and lethality of service members in all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Musculoskeletal injuries have been cited by the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board as a key factor that directly threatens the tactical readiness of our military. The University of Kentucky (UK) is currently conducting several trials sponsored by the Department of Defense to investigate solutions to improve outcomes after common musculoskeletal injuries that directly affect the overall tactical readiness of the United States Armed Forces such as patellar instability and ankle sprain. Additionally, our UK research group has exciting emerging work on strategies to promote better outcomes after a tibia fracture and mild traumatic brain injury. The wide spectrum of musculoskeletal injuries that are being investigated at UK are all linked together by examining underlying factors that affect long-term bone health. There is an urgent need to begin examining bone health after musculoskeletal injuries as evidence indicates that bone may be one of the first tissues to have negative changes following trauma to lower extremity musculoskeletal structures, but also demonstrates degradation following a mild traumatic brain injury. Subsequently, a vital addition to the Department of Defense funded work at UK will be increased capacity to document alterations in bone tissue. Therefore, the objective of this proposal is to acquire a high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) machine. The proposed equipment is the necessary imaging technology to allow our research team to investigate how musculoskeletal injuries affect bone health and test our novel interventions to retard this negative sequalae. Thus, incorporation of HR-pQCT hardware and software is the next step forward to enable our research team to further meet the needs of the Department of Defense to develop post-injury and post- operative programs that increase the number of warfighters to return to duty without profile restriction and improve long-term health after serving. The HR-pQCT will also expand the research experience and create new educational mechanisms beyond the intensive academic programs for the next generation of scientists and clinicians responsible for treating musculoskeletal injuries. This application will demonstrate how the acquisition of HRp-QCT will impact our institution’s ability to educate students and trainees through research in disciplines important to the mission of the Department of Defense.
Effective start/end date10/1/21 → 9/30/22


  • Office of Naval Research: $430,000.00


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