Inova Biomechanics Research Laboratory

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Biomechanics Research: Improving Patient Outcomes

Inova's unique Biomechanics Research Laboratory improves patient outcomes through advanced orthopedic research. Using virtual surgery technology to help physicians customize the best treatment solutions, the simulations are like a "test drive" of a surgical procedure before the patient and physician ever enter an operating room. The resulting information can dramatically improve outcomes for patients and makes this one-of-a-kind Northern Virginia research lab a leader in musculoskeletal biomechanics. 

The simulations are well suited to many orthopedic conditions, including:

  • Joint replacements
  • Traumatic bone injuries
  • Bone cancer
  • Chronic back and joint pain
  • Pediatric orthopedic problems

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Inova innovation means better results

Current research efforts include both mechanical testing and computer simulation. A state-of-the-art Bionix MTS system allows researchers to perform stress tests on bones and implants, mimicking real-life situations.

A surgeon planning to perform a total joint replacement, for example, can test a specific implant's performance under stress by simulating the patient's weight and activity level. This customized approach means even better results for patients and a faster return to normal activities.

Virtual surgery helps narrow choices

Surgeons can conduct "virtual surgery" on an orthopedic patient in advance of the actual procedure.

  1. The patient's CT or MRI scans form the foundation of a 3-D model of the damaged bone
  2. Software helps physicians evaluate which of several treatment options is best suited to the patient
  3. Software also simulates how the repaired bone or joint will respond to strain over time given the patient's own profile

The goals of Inova Biomechanics Research Laboratory

  • To foster biomechanical and clinical research among orthopedic surgeons and help them to solve complex clinical problems
  • To apply the principles of mechanics and biology to understand basic mechanisms related to the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system
  • To design, analyze and develop bone-implant and prosthetic systems
  • To educate residents in performing independent, high-quality research in orthopedic biomechanics


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