Gait biomechanics: A clinically relevant outcome measure for preclinical research of musculoskeletal trauma

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2 Scopus citations


Traumatic injuries to the musculoskeletal system are the most prevalent of those suffered by United States Military Service members and accounts for two-thirds of initial hospital costs to the Department of Defense. These combat-related wounds often leave survivors with life-long disability and represent a significant impediment to the readiness of the fighting force. There are immense opportunities for the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TE/RM) to address these musculoskeletal injuries through regeneration of damaged tissues as a means to restore limb functionality and improve quality of life for affected individuals. Indeed, investigators have made promising advancements in the treatment for these injuries by utilizing small and large preclinical animal models to validate therapeutic efficacy of next-generation TE/RM-based technologies. Importantly, utilization of a comprehensive suite of functional outcome measures, particularly those designed to mimic data collected within the clinical setting, is critical for successful translation and implementation of these therapeutics. To that end, the objective of this review is to emphasize the clinical relevance and application of gait biomechanics as a functional outcome measure for preclinical research studies evaluating the efficacy of TE/RM therapies to treat traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. Specifically, common musculoskeletal injuries sustained by service members—including volumetric muscle loss, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, and composite tissue injuries—are examined as case examples to highlight the use of gait biomechanics as an outcome measure using small and large preclinical animal models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1151
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • animal models
  • locomotion
  • physiopathology
  • regenerative medicine
  • wounds and injuries


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