Rehabilitation Science for Bone and Joint Disorders

Hiroshi Kuroki,
P.T., Ph.D., Professor


 Patients with orthopaedic disorders undergo therapeutic exercises and physical agents such as thermotherapy as rehabilitative interventions. However, effect of these interventions is still unclear. Mechanism of the onset of osteoarthritis and its deterioration is studied using animal models in our laboratory. Effect of exercises, thermotherapy, cryotherapy and therapeutic ultrasound for those models are studied as well. From the new evidences obtained from these studies, students who can propose novel rehabilitative interventions are expected and educated in our laboratory.

Research and Education

Our laboratory is currently pursuing the following four research projects.

  1. Because articular cartilage has limited healing capacity, the cartilage of osteoarthritis rarely repair spontaneously. Raw wave of ultrasound echo from articular cartilage and its wavelet transform reveals features of acoustic properties in the osteoarthritic cartilage of animal models (Figure 1). Morphology and immunohistochemistry of articular cartilage in those models is studied to reveal deterioration of the cartilage. Effect of rehabilitation, mentioned as above, is studied.
  2. A novel walking-assist system using positive air pressure is studied. In this system the patients with osteoarthritis can walk with low energy and without joint pain because their body weight can be reduced to 25 % (Figure 2).
  3. Muscle strengthening using electrical stimulation in patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is studied.
  4. Psychological process in palliative medicine and terminal care for the cancer patients is studied.

Students of master’s and doctor’s courses, including from foreign countries, are educated to be able to propose novel rehabilitative interventions at research meetings and discussions.

Figure 1. Raw waves of echo from articular cartilage (bottom) and wavelet transform (top)
Figure 2. A novel walking assist system using positive air pressure

図1 図2

Recent Publications

  1. Yamaguchi S, Aoyama T, Ito A, Nagai M, Iijima H, Zhang X, Tajino J, Kuroki H.  (2013) Effects of Exercise Level on Biomarkers in a Rat Knee Model of Osteoarthritis. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, in press.
  2. Ito A, Aoyama T, Yamaguchi S, Zhang X, Akiyama H, Kuroki H. (2012)  Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound inhibits messenger RNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-13 induced by interleukin-1β in chondrocytes in an intensity-dependent manner.  Ultrasound Med Biol. 38:1726-33.
  3. Hasegawa S, Kobayashi M, Arai R, TamakiA, Nakamura T, Moritani T. (2011)  Effect of early implementation of electrical muscle stimulation to prevent muscle atrophy and weakness in patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.  Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 21: 622-630.
  4. Kuroki H, Nakagawa Y, Mori K, Kobayashi M, Nakamura S, Nishitani K, Shirai T, Nakamura T. (2009)  Ultrasound properties of articular cartilage immediately after osteochondral grafting surgery: in cases of traumatic cartilage lesions and osteonecrosis. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 17: 11-8.
  5. Maeda Y, Kobori E, Kubota Y, Seki S, Takada K, Kuramoto N, Hiraide A, Morimoto T.  (2008)  Major qualitative research methods in patient-doctor communication studies. Gen Med 9: 5-12.


Professor : Hiroshi Kuroki, P.T., Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer : Yuko Maeda, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor : Satoshi Hasegawa, P.T., Ph.D.

TEL    075 – 751 – 3963
FAX    075 – 751 – 3963

(under construction)