United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Rehabilitation Research & Development Service

Logo for the bone and joint center

Bone and Joint Rehabilitation Center of Excellence

The VA Palo Alto Rehabilitation Research and Development Center reflects a long-standing commitment by the Department of Veterans Affairs to advance the well being of American veterans through support of a full spectrum of rehabilitation research, from concept to clinic.

The focus of its Bone and Joint Rehabilitation Center is to reduce pain and improve function in VA patients diagnosed with impairments involving the musculoskeletal system. The Center engages in research projects and develops innovative diagnostic, training, and assistive devices for veterans with physical and/or neurologic disabilities to increase their independence and improve their quality of life. The primary areas of investigation are:

  • developing novel physical interventions for prevention of bone loss due to disuse, and the restoration of normal bone density,
  • halting the progression of osteoarthritis, and reversal of cartilage degeneration, and
  • improving the rehabilitative course and ultimate outcome of orthopaedic techniques such as fracture repair and total joint replacement.
From concept to clinic

A firm scientific understanding of the underlying impairment and a multi-disciplinary team creates a strong basis for developing new clinical treatments that reduce the disability of veterans and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery by VA clinicians.

Basic Science - We work to identify the molecular mechanisms that affect skeletal health and can lead to clinical and pharmacological treatments of diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Translational Research - We use innovative techniques including motion capture, computational modeling, and gait analysis to provide the practical knowledge needed to design therapeutic interventions. These range from surgical techniques to physical therapy that can aid patients experiencing pain, fractures, and loss of mobility and function.

Clinical Studies - We conduct human trials to test and refine new medical techniques and surgical procedures that result from our research.