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Darryl Thelen

Darryl G. Thelen

Ph.D., University of Michigan
Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering
Bernard A. and Frances M. Weideman Professor,
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Biomechanical Limitations to Walking Speed in Older Adults

Walking impairments, falls and fall-related injuries are common among the elderly. We are investigating the influence of age-related changes in sensorimotor function and musculoskeletal mechanics on walking performance and balance. Further, we are also exploring novel interventions to enhance sensory feedback and sensorimotor process underlying gait. For further information, please see the UW Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab website.

Representative Publications
Slane, L. C., Martin, J., DeWall, R., Thelen, D. G., & Lee, K. (2017). Quantitative ultrasound mapping of regional variations in shear wave speeds of the aging Achilles tendon. European Radiology, 27(2), 474-482.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1007/s00330-016-4409-0

Smith, C., Vignos, M., Lenhart, R.L., Kaiser, J., & Thelen, D.G. (2016). The influence of component alignment and ligament properties on tibiofemoral contact forces in total knee replacement. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 138(2).
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1115/1.4032464

Franz, J., & Thelen, D. G. (2016). Imaging and simulation of Achilles tendon dynamics: Implications for walking performance in the elderly. Journal of Biomechanics, 49(9), 1403-1410.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.04.032

Franz, J., Francis, C., Allen, M.S., O'Connor, S.M., & Thelen, D.G. (2015). Advanced age brings a greater reliance on visual feedback to maintain balance during walking. Human Movement Science, 40, 381-392.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.humov.2015.01.012

Francis, C., Franz, J., O'Connor, S., & Thelen, D.G (2015). Gait variability in healthy old adults is more affected by a visual perturbation than by a cognitive or narrow step placement demand. Gait and Posture, 42(3), 380-385.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2015.07.006

Lenhart, R. L., Smith, C. R., Vignos, M. F., Kaiser, J., Heiderscheit, B. C., & Thelen, D. G. (2015). Influence of step rate and quadriceps load distribution on patellofemoral cartilage contact pressures during running. Journal of Biomechanics, 48(11), 2871-2878.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.04.036

Franz, J., & Thelen, D. G. (2015). Depth-dependent variations in Achilles tendon deformations with age are associated with reduced plantarflexor performance during walking. Journal of Applied Physiology, 119(3), 242-249.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.00114.2015

Martin, J. A., Biedrzycki, A. H., Lee, K. S., DeWall, R. J., Brounts, S. H., Murphy, W. L., ... Markel, M. D., ...Thelen, D. G. (2015). In vivo measures of shear wave speed as a predictor of tendon elasticity and strength. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 41(10), 2722-2730.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2015.06.008

Thelen, D. G., Choi, K. W., & Schmitz, A. M. (2014). Co-simulation of neuromuscular dynamics and knee mechanics during human walking. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 136(2), 021033.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1115/1.4026358

Chernak Slane, L., & Thelen, D. G. (2014). The use of 2D ultrasound elastography for measuring tendon motion and strain. Journal of Biomechanics, 47(3), 750-754.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.11.023

Wille, C.M., Lenhart, R.L., Wang, S., Thelen, D.G., & Heiderscheit, B.C. (2014). Ability of sagittal kinematic variables to estimate ground reaction forces and joint kinetics in running. Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy, 44(10), 825-830.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.2519/jospt.2014.5367

Lenhart, R.L., Thelen, D.G., & Heiderscheit, B.C. (2014). Hip muscle loads during running at various step rates. Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy, 44(10), 766-774.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.2519/jospt.2014.5575

Lenhart, R. L., Thelen, D. G., Wille, C. M., Chumanov, E. S., & Heiderscheit, B. C. (2013). Increasing running step rate reduces patellofemoral joint forces. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Advance online publication.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182a78c3a

Westphal, C. J., Schmitz, A., Reeder, S. B., & Thelen, D. G. (2013). Load-dependent variations in knee kinematics measured with dynamic MRI. Journal of Biomechanics, 46(12), 2045-2052.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.05.027

Chernak, L. A., DeWall, R. J., Lee, K. S., & Thelen, D. G. (2013). Length and activation dependent variations in muscle shear wave speed. Physiological Measurement, 34(6), 713-721.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1088/0967-3334/34/6/713

Francis, C. A., Lenz, A. L., Lenhart, R. L., & Thelen, D. G. (2013). The modulation of forward propulsion, vertical support, and center of pressure by the plantarflexors during human walking. Gait & Posture, 38(4), 993-997.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.05.009

Kaiser, J., Bradford, R., Johnson, K., Wieben, O., & Thelen, D. G. (2013). Measurement of tibiofemoral kinematics using highly accelerated 3D radial sampling. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 69, 1310-1316.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1002/mrm.24362

Thelen, D. G., Lenz, A., Francis, C., Lenhart, R., & Hernandez, A. (2013). Empirical assessment of dynamic hamstring function during human walking. Journal of Biomechanics, 46, 1255-1261.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.02.019

Chumanov, E.S., Schache, A.G., Heiderscheit, B.C., Thelen, D.G. (2012). Hamstrings are most susceptible to injury during the late swing phase of sprinting. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(2), 90.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090176

Chernak, L., & Thelen, D. G. (2012). Tendon motion and strain patterns evaluated with two-dimensional ultrasound elastography. Journal of Biomechanics, 45(15), 2618-23.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.08.001

Chumanov, E.S., Heiderscheit, B.C., & Thelen, D.G. (2011). Hamstring musculotendon dynamics during stance and swing phases of high speed running. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43 (3), 525-532.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181f23fe8

Sherry, M.A. , Best, T.M., Silder, A., Thelen, D.G., & Heiderscheit, B.C. (2011). Hamstring strains: basic science and clinical research applications for preventing the recurrent injury. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 33(3), 56-71.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1519/SSC.0b013e31821e2f71

Hernandez, A., Lenz, A., & Thelen, D.G. (2010). Electrical stimulation of the rectus femoris during pre-swing diminishes hip and knee flexion during the swing phase of normal gait. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 18(5), 523-530.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1109/TNSRE.2010.2052471

Heiderscheit, B.C., Sherry, M.A., Silder, A., Chumanov, E.S., & Thelen, D.G. (2010). Hamstring strain injuries: Recommendations for diagnosis, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sprots Physical Therapy, 40(2), 67-81.
Click here to download this publication.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.2519/jospt.2010.3047

Silder, A., Thelen, D.G., & Heiderscheit, B.C. (2010). Effects of prior hamstring strain injury on strength, flexibility, and running mechanics. Clinical Biomechanics 25(7), 681-686.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2010.04.015

Schmitz, A., Silder, A., Heiderscheit, B.C., Mahoney, J., & Thelen, D.G. (2009). Differences in lower extremity muscular activation during walking between healthy older and young adults. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 19, 1085-1091.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jelekin.2008.10.008

Hunter, B., Thelen, D.G., & Dhaher, Y. (2009). A three-dimensional biomechanical evaluation of quadriceps and hamstring function using electrical stimulation. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering, 17(2), 167-175.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1109/TNSRE.2009.2014235

Whittington, B., & Thelen, D.G. (2009). A simple mass-spring model with roller feet can induce the ground reactions observed in human walking. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 131(1), 011013.
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View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1115/1.3005147

Hernandez, A., Silder, A., Heiderscheit, B.C., & Thelen, D.G. (2009). Effect of age on center of mass motion during human walking. Gait and Posture, 30, 217-222.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.05.006

Silder, A., Heiderscheit, B.C., & Thelen, D.G. (2008). Active and passive contributions to joint kinetics during walking in healthy older adults. Journal of Biomechanics, 41, 1520-1527.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.02.016

Whittington, B., Silder, A., Heiderscheit, B.C., & Thelen, D.G. (2008). The contribution of passive elastic mechanisms to lower extremity joint powers during walking. Gait Posture, 27, 628-634, 200.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2007.08.005

Hernandez, A., Dhaher, Y., & Thelen, D.G. (2008). In vivo measurement of dynamic rectus femoris function at postures representative of early swing phase. Journal of Biomechanics, 41, 137-144.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.07.011

Silder, A., Whittington, B., Heiderscheit, B.C., & Thelen, D.G. (2007). Identification of passive elastic joint moment-angle relationships in the lower extremity. Journal of Biomechanics, 40, 2628-2635.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2006.12.017

Arnold, A.S., Schwartz, M.H., Thelen, D.G., & Delp, S.L. (2007). Contributions of muscles to terminal-swing knee motions vary with walking speed. Journal of Biomechanics, 40, 3660-3671.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.06.006

Arnold, A.S., Thelen, D.G., Schwartz, M., Anderson, F.C., & Delp, S.L. (2007). Muscular coordination of knee motion during the terminal-swing phase of normal gait. Journal of Biomechanics, 40, 3314-3324.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.05.006

Delp, S.L., Anderson, F.C., Arnold, A.S., Loan, P., Habib, A., Chand, J.T., Guendelman, E., & Thelen, D.G. (2007). OpenSim: Open-source software to create and analyze dynamic simulations of movement. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 54, 1940-1950.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1109/TBME.2007.901024

Graf, A., Judge, J.O., Ounpuu, S., & Thelen, D.G. (2005). The effect of walking speed on lower extremity joint powers among elderly adults who exhibit low physical performance. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 86, 2177-83.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.apmr.2005.06.007

Thelen, D.G. (2003). Adjustment of muscle mechanics model parameters to simulate dynamic contractions in older adults. J. Biomechanical Engineering, 125, 70-77.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1115/1.1531112

Wojcik, L.A., Thelen, D.G., Schultz, A.B., Ashton-Miller, J.A., & Alexander, N.B. (2001). Age and gender differences in the biomechanics of single-step recovery from a forward fall. Journal of Biomechanics 3, 67-73.

Alexander, N.B., Guire, K.E., Thelen, D.G., Ashton-Miller, J.A., Schultz, A.B., Grunawalt, J.C., & Giordani, B. (2000). Self-reported walking ability predicts functional mobility performance in frail older adults. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 48, 1408-1413.

Thelen, D.G., Muriuki, M., James, J., Schultz, A.B., Ashton-Miller, J.A., & Alexander, N.B. (2000). Muscle activities used by young and old adults when stepping to regain balance during a forward fall. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 10, 93-101.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/S1050-6411(99)00028-0

Wojcik, L.A., Thelen, D.G., Schultz, A.B., Ashton-Miller, J.A., & Alexander, N.B. (1999). Age and gender differences in single-step recovery from a forward fall. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 54A, M38-M43.

Thelen, D.G., Ashton-Miller, J.A., Brockmiller, C., Schultz, A.B., & Alexander, N.B. (1998). Thresholds for sensing ankle dorsi- and plantarflexion rotation in upright stance: Effects of age and velocity. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 53A, M33-M38.

Thelen, D.G., Wojcik, L.A., Schultz, A.B., Ashton-Miller, J.A., & Alexander, N.B. (1997). Age differences in using a rapid step to regain balance during a forward fall. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 52A, M8-M13.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1093/gerona/52A.1.M8

Thelen, D.G., Schultz, A.B., Alexander, N.B., & Ashton-Miller, J.A. (1996). Effects of age on rapid ankle torque development. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 51, M226-232.

Thelen, D.G., Ashton-Miller, J.A., Schultz, A.B., & Alexander, N.B. (1996). Do neural factors underlie age differences in rapid ankle torque development? Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 44, 804-808.

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