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Participants sought for Michigan Tech knee replacement exercise study

Researchers at Michigan Tech University are seeking individuals that have had a knee joint replacement surgery to participate in an exercise research study. The study is being conducted by Dr. Steven Elmer’s research team in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

The purpose of the study is to determine if a new home-based exercise program called “B-FREE” can help improve leg strength, balance, and walking ability. The research team is currently recruiting individuals 40-75 years old who have previously had a knee joint replacement surgery. As part of this study, participant volunteers will perform the B-FREE exercise program at home three times a week for 10 weeks. Measurements of leg strength, balance, and walking ability will be taken at the beginning and end of the program.

Elmer says that B-FREE stands for Blood Flow Restricted Exercise Enhancement. “B-FREE offers an alternative method for exercising and strengthening leg muscles following major injury and/or joint surgery. It is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association and has been used effectively with a wide range of populations including older adults, individuals recovering from orthopedic surgery, and athletes.”

The research team consists of Elmer as team leader, Lydia Lytle, a physical therapist from Aspirus Keweenaw and graduate students Ben Cockfield, Alex Knuck, Alicia DenHerder, and Sydnie Mazurek. Kuck, DenHerder, and Mazurek are part of Central Michigan University’s Houghton-based Physical Therapy Program, making this a collaborative research effort between both universities. The research study is funded by a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Michigan which aims to support healthcare and research to improve the health of Michigan residents.

Individuals may be eligible to participate in the research study if they:

  • Have had a knee replacement surgery
  • Are between the ages of 40-75 years old
  • Do not smoke
  • Have not had a heart attack or stroke
  • Are not diabetic
  • For more information please contact a research team member by phone or email:

  • Ben Cockfield: bacockfi@mtu.edu (231) 360-6682
  • Alicia DenHerder: adenherd@mtu.edu (616) 970-1764
  • Dr. Steve Elmer: sjelmer@mtu.edu (906) 487-2324