About the Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Lab
The K-Lab, respectfully short for the Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Research Laboratory at Duke Medical Center, is dedicated to the understanding and prevention of athletic injury.
The lab was opened in 1997 and the decision to name the lab in honor of Duke basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski was made. "To have this lab named for me is a huge honor," says Coach K. "I feel privileged to be a member of such a prestigious team. It's exciting what can be accomplished!"
Injury prevention is the next era in Orthopaedic sports medicine research, and the K-Lab brings together a team of Orthopaedic surgeons, biomechanical engineers, kinesiologists, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, sports psychologists and athletic trainers, all working with state-of-the-art equipment.
Over the past year the researchers and students in the K-Lab have primarily focused on gaining a better understanding of athletic injuries. The goal of this work has been focused on ensuring that the Duke athletes as well as recreational athletes are able to continue to participate to the best of their ability. Studies being conducted at the lab have ranged from examining the interaction between FieldTurf and different types of soccer shoes to studying the degenerative processes of knee osteoarthritis. This work has been funded through industry contracts as well as the National Institutes of Health.
One source of funding for the K-Lab has been an industry contract with Nike, Inc. This grant focused on identifying potential injury risk factors in athletes who play cleated sports. Based on this work the researchers in the K-Lab were able to make some suggestions for alterations in cleat design to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury to cleated sport athletes. The relationship that has been built with Nike, Inc will be ongoing allowing the K-Lab to continue research in the area of foot, ankle, and knee injury prevention and to improve performance through shoe design innovations.
With the increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis in aging athletes, the K-Lab has been vital in collecting movement (kinematic and kinetic) data on patients who have knee osteoarthritis in an attempt to understand how the disease alters movement patterns. This work has been funded as a portion of a larger program project grant funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The K-Lab is presently working on trying to better understand the mechanism of hamstring strains in runners. In addition to examining the activation of the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius muscles during sprinting, the K-lab is also examining different hamstring strengthening exercises to determine which type of exercise can increase both concentric and eccentric strength in an attempt to prevent injuries.
Another major focus of the K-Lab has been stress fractures of the foot. The K-Lab has been focused on trying to determine what types of movements cause both fifth metatarsal stress fractures in men as well as second and third metatarsal stress fractures in women.
The research done in the K-Lab has been presented at national and international meetings such as, the American Society of Biomechanics, the International Society of Biomechanics, Nike’s Global Research Symposium, and the American College of Sports Medicine.
"The development and knowledge gained from basic and clinical studies in this laboratory will ultimately benefit the weekend athlete, as well as the scholarship and elite athlete," says Dr. James Nunley, Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke Medical Center.
On the back of the K-Lab t-shirt is written, "Studying the world's most complex machine." The laboratory faculty and staff are totally dedicated to having the opportunity to study injury prevention and are aware that in human performance, we are studying the most complex machine.
The K-Lab is uniquely situated in the Finch Yeager Building and has direct access to the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine faculty. It is an intricate part of Duke's world-class facility.