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Investigating optimal strategies for the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal problems

Investigating optimal strategies for the prevention
and treatment of musculoskeletal problems

Physiatry Research

The Physiatry Department is continuously exploring ways to improve established treatments and to research the safe and effective adoption of novel techniques. Our ultimate goal is to identify the ideal treatment paradigm for our patients.

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Studies managed
in 2021
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Articles/chapters published
in 2021

Main Focus Areas of Research

Research areas diagram


  • Effectiveness
  • Safety
  • Personalized (gender/age)
  • Regenerative
    • Medicine and techniques/type


  • Risk factors
  • Physical exam
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Personalized (gender/age)
  • Regenerative
    • Who responds best and why


  • Exercise prescription
  • Personalized (gender/age)
  • Regenerative
    • Pre- and post-procedure rehabilitation

Many of our studies encompass more than one focus area of research and range from basic science to translation human to clinical trials. They are conducted in collaboration with intramural and extramural researchers in radiology, orthopedics, neurology, primary care sports medicine, laboratory/pathology/chemistry, and physical therapy.

Learn more about our currently active studies.

Physiatrist Researchers

Research Staff

  • Jennifer Cheng, PhD
  • Olivia Leupold, BA
  • Rachel Rothman, BS

Students and trainees who are interested in volunteering in research for our department may contact physiatryresearch@hss.edu.

Recent Publications

  • Lutz C, Cheng J, Prysak M, Zukofsky T, Rothman R, Lutz G. Clinical outcomes following intradiscal injections of higher-concentration platelet-rich plasma in patients with chronic lumbar discogenic pain. Int Orthop. 2022 Mar 28.
  • Kirschner J, Cheng J, Creighton A, Santiago K, Hurwitz N, Dundas M, Beatty N, Kingsbury D, Konin G, Abutalib Z, Chang R. Efficacy of ultrasound-guided glenohumeral joint injections of leukocyte-poor platelet-rich plasma versus hyaluronic acid in the treatment of glenohumeral osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Clin J Sport Med. 2022 Mar 17. 
  • Tan ET, Serrano KC, Bhatti P, Pishgar F, Vanderbeek AM, Milani CJ, Sneag DB. Quantitative MRI differentiates electromyography severity grades of denervated muscle in neuropathy of the brachial plexus. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2022 Feb 23.
  • Marmor W, McElheny K, Lingor R, Shetty T, Lin E, Casey E, Ling D. Disparities in concussion diagnoses compared to ankle injuries. PM&R. 2022 Feb 1.
  • Robinson P, Williamson T, Creighton A, Cheng J, Murray A, Prather H, Dines J, Gulotta L, Su E, Press J, Hawkes R, Clement N. The rate and timing of return to golf after hip, knee, or shoulder arthroplasty: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Amer J Sports Med. 2022 Jan 12.
  • Cheng A, Ring D, McDuffie J, Schuelke M, Calfee R, Prather H, Colditz G. How should be measure social deprivation in orthopaedic patients? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2022 Feb 1;480(2):325-339.
  • Queler S, Towbin A, Milani C, Whang J, Sneag D. Parsonage-Turner Syndrome following COVID-19 vaccination: magnetic resonance neurography. Radiology. 2022;302:84-87.
  • Cheng AL, Collis RW, McCullough AB, Bui M, Brady BK, Schuelke MJ, Clohisy JC, Colditz GA, Prather H. Rate of continued conservative management versus progression to surgery at minimum 1-year follow-up in patients with pre-arthritic hip pain. PM&R. 2021 Dec 11.
  • Kirschner J, Cheng J, Hurwitz N, Santiago K, Lin E, Beatty N, Kingsbury D, Wendel I, Milani C. Ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle tenotomy (PNT) alone vs. PNT plus platelet-rich plasma injection for the treatment of chronic tendinosis: a randomized controlled trial. PM&R. 2021 Dec;13(12):1340-1349.
  • Prysak MH, Kyriakides CP, Zukofsky TA, Reutter SE, Cheng J, Lutz GE. A retrospective analysis of a commercially available platelet-rich plasma kit during clinical use. PM&R. 2021 Dec;13(12):1410-1417.
  • Cheng J, Santiago KA, Abutalib Z, Temme KE, Hulme A, Goolsby MA, Esopenko CL, Casey EK. Menstrual irregularity, hormonal contraceptive use, and bone stress injuries in collegiate female athletes in the United States. PM&R. 2021 Nov;13(11):1207-1215.
  • LeBrun DG, Sneag DB, Feinberg JH, McCarthy MM, Gulotta LV, Lee SK, Wolfe SW. Surgical treatment of iatrogenic nerve injury following arthroscopic capsulolabral repair. J Hand Surg. 2021 Dec;46(12):1121.e1-1121.e11.
  • Sweeney EA, Howell DR, Seehusen CN, Tilley D, Casey E. Health outcomes among former female collegiate gymnasts: the influence of sport specialization, concussion, and disordered eating. Phys Sportsmed. 2021 Nov;49(4):438-444.
  • Leopold M, Santiago K, Cheng J, Keller L, Abutalib Z, Bonder J, Sharma G, Tenforde A, Casey E. Efficacy of an online core strengthening program for diastasis rectus abdominis in postpartum women: A prospective observational study. J Women’s Health Phys Ther. 2021 Oct/Dec;45(4):147-163.
  • Prather H, Fogarty AE, Cheng AL, Wahl G, Hong B, Hunt D. Feasibility of an intensive interprofessional lifestyle medicine program for patients with musculoskeletal conditions in the setting of lifestyle-related chronic disease. PM&R. 2021 Oct 28.
  • Ferber A, Howell D, Tilley D, Casey E, Sweeney E. Intersection of surgical injuries and pain interference among former female collegiate gymnasts. PM&R. 2021 Sep 9.
  • Ammerman B, Cheng J, Ling D, Casey E. Type of oral contraceptive pills in patients with complete ACL tears: a retrospective study. Penn State J Med. 2021; 2.

Recent Abstracts Accepted or Presented at Conferences

  • Malik GR, Cheng J, Rothman R, Casey E, Kirschner J, Milani C, Sokunbi G, Sandhu H, Prather H. Comparison of baseline PROMIS-10 scores of mental and physical health of low back pain patients evaluated by physiatrists and orthopedic spine surgeons. Accepted for poster presentation at AAP 2022.
  • Malik GR, Goldsmith C, Wyss J, Moley PJ. Anteromedial acetabular fracture evaluation and treatment with non-operative approach: a case report. Accepted for poster presentation at AAP 2022.
  • Chen H, Cheng J, Tsai J, Wyss J. Correlation between aspiration of calcific rotator cuff tendinopathy and morphology on imaging. Accepted for poster presentation at AAP 2022.
  • Tsai J, Cheng J, Barcavage C, Wyss J. A case of bilateral rapidly progressive osteoarthritis of the hip. Accepted for poster presentation at AAP 2022.
  • Chen H, Cheng J, Wyss J, Tsai J. Correlation between aspiration of calcific rotator cuff tendinopathy and morphology on imaging. Accepted for poster presentation at AAPM&R 2021.
  • Batka R, Quirolgico K. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the 1st metatarsalphalangeal (MTP) joint of a dancer with medial hallux sesamoid fracture/stress reaction and joint capsule sprain. Accepted for poster presentation at IADMS 2021.
  • Fryar C, Howell DR, Seehusen CN, Tilley D, Casey E, Sweeney EA. Time loss injuries among former collegiate gymnasts: the influence of female athlete triad symptoms. Presented at PRiSM 2021.
  • Bui M, Collis R, McCullough AB, Brady B, Ng C, Clohisy JC, Prather H, Colditz G, Cheng A. Clinical and radiographic predictors of conservative versus surgical management in patients with pre-arthritic hip disorders. Presented at AAP 2021.
  • McCullough AB, Prasad N, Arbanas J, Prather H, Hunt D, Cheng A. Diagnostic hip injections and satisfaction with surgical versus conservative management in adolescents and young adults with hip pain. Presented at AAP 2021.
  • Cheng A, Bradley EC, Brady B, Waller L, Calfee R, Colditz G, Prather H. Opioid use and social disadvantage in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Presented at AAP 2021.
  • Fogarty A, Cheng A, Prather H. The Living Well Center: a pilot study of a lifestyle medicine program in patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Presented at AAP 2021.

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