MQ Health - Macquarie University

Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the study of how the human body moves, and is a growing area of clinical research activity for MQ Health. Studies usually combine experimental measurements with computational simulations to bring new insights into normal function of joints such as the knees, hips and shoulders, but also into joint problems and the best use of orthopaedic implants when joint replacement is needed.

For example, some of our biomechanics researchers are developing new evidence-based approaches, often drawing on the rich data streams available through ‘wearable technologies’, to improve military training and sports training. These projects are identifying improved ways to build fitness, strength and technique of members of the armed forces, elite athletes and amateur sportspeople alike, while reducing injury.

Other research is examining how to ensure that older Australian’s with joint pain and mobility problems – for example, in their knees – receive evidence-based rehabilitation and care in order to avoid unnecessary surgical joint replacement (or arthroplasty), or to at least prolong the time until surgery is required.

And, when arthroplasty is required, our researchers are exploring better approaches to precisely measure how individuals’ joints move in order to reduce the incidence of implant problems or failure down the track. To achieve this goal, they are developing improved methods to tailor selection of implants for each patient, as well as to allow more precise surgical pre-planning and therefore optimal positioning of the implants during surgery. These studies take advantage of the experimental capabilities of our Surgical Skills Centre and Macquarie University’s Simulation Hub, and combine the resulting data with biomechanical simulations of joints and motion and load distributions.