Publications -- Rachel Menegaz

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Indications of musculoskeletal health in deceased male individuals with lower-limb amputations: comparison to non-amputee and diabetic controls
    (Springer Nature, 2023-06-01) Finco, M. G.; Finnerty, Caitlyn; Ngo, Wayne; Menegaz, Rachel A.
    Individuals with lower-limb amputations, many of whom have type 2 diabetes, experience impaired musculoskeletal health. This study: (1) compared residual and intact limbs of diabetic and non-diabetic post-mortem individuals with amputation to identify structures vulnerable to injury, and (2) compared findings to diabetic and healthy control groups to differentiate influences of amputation and diabetes on musculoskeletal health. Postmortem CT scans of three groups, ten individuals each, were included: (1) individuals with transtibial or transfemoral amputations, half with diabetes (2) diabetic controls, and (3) healthy controls. Hip and knee joint spaces, cross-sectional thigh muscle and fat areas, and cross-sectional bone properties (e.g. area, thickness, geometry) were measured. Wilcoxon Signed-Rank and Kruskal-Wallis tests assessed statistical significance. Asymmetry percentages between limbs assessed clinical significance. Residual limbs of individuals with amputation, particularly those with diabetes, had significantly less thigh muscle area and thinner distal femoral cortical bone compared to intact limbs. Compared to control groups, individuals with amputation had significantly narrower joint spaces, less thigh muscle area bilaterally, and thinner proximal femoral cortical bone in the residual limb. Diabetic individuals with amputation had the most clinically significant asymmetry. Findings tended to align with those of living individuals. However, lack of available medical information and small sample sizes reduced the anticipated clinical utility. Larger sample sizes of living individuals are needed to assess generalizability of findings. Quantifying musculoskeletal properties and differentiating influences of amputation and diabetes could eventually help direct rehabilitation techniques.
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    A review of musculoskeletal adaptations in individuals following major lower-limb amputation
    (Hylonome Publications, 2022-06-01) Finco, M. G.; Kim, Suhhyun; Ngo, Wayne; Menegaz, Rachel A.
    Structural musculoskeletal adaptations following amputation, such as bone mineral density (BMD) or muscle architecture, are often overlooked despite their established contributions to gait rehabilitation and the development of adverse secondary physical conditions. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the existing literature investigating musculoskeletal adaptations in individuals with major lower-limb amputations to inform clinical practice and provide directions for future research. Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus were searched for original peer-reviewed studies that included individuals with transtibial or transfemoral amputations. Summary data of twenty-seven articles indicated reduced BMD and increased muscle atrophy in amputees compared to controls, and in the amputated limb compared to intact and control limbs. Specifically, BMD was reduced in T-scores and Z-scores, femoral neck, and proximal tibia. Muscle atrophy was evidenced by decreased thigh cross-sectional area, decreased quadriceps thickness, and increased amounts of thigh fat. Overall, amputees have impaired musculoskeletal health. Future studies should include dysvascular etiologies to address their effects on musculoskeletal health and functional mobility. Moreover, clinicians can use these findings to screen increased risks of adverse sequelae such as fractures, osteopenia/porosis, and muscular atrophy, as well as target specific rehabilitation exercises to reduce these risks.
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    More Challenging Diets Sustain Feeding Performance: Applications Toward the Captive Rearing of Wildlife
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-11-22) Mitchell, D. Rex; Wroe, Stephen; Ravosa, Matthew J.; Menegaz, Rachel A.
    The rescue and rehabilitation of young fauna is of substantial importance to conservation. However, it has been suggested that incongruous diets offered in captive environments may alter craniofacial morphology and hinder the success of reintroduced animals. Despite these claims, to what extent dietary variation throughout ontogeny impacts intrapopulation cranial biomechanics has not yet been tested. Here, finite element models were generated from the adult crania of 40 rats (n = 10 per group) that were reared on 4 different diet regimes and stress magnitudes compared during incisor bite simulations. The diets consisted of (1) exclusively hard pellets from weaning, (2) exclusively soft ground pellet meal from weaning, (3) a juvenile switch from pellets to meal, and (4) a juvenile switch from meal to pellets. We hypothesized that a diet of exclusively soft meal would result in the weakest adult skulls, represented by significantly greater stress magnitudes at the muzzle, palate, and zygomatic arch. Our hypothesis was supported at the muzzle and palate, indicating that a diet limited to soft food inhibits bone deposition throughout ontogeny. This finding presents a strong case for a more variable and challenging diet during development. However, rather than the "soft" diet group resulting in the weakest zygomatic arch as predicted, this region instead showed the highest stress among rats that switched as juveniles from hard pellets to soft meal. We attribute this to a potential reduction in number and activity of osteoblasts, as demonstrated in studies of sudden and prolonged disuse of bone. A shift to softer foods in captivity, during rehabilitation after injury in the wild for example, can therefore be detrimental to healthy development of the skull in some growing animals, potentially increasing the risk of injury and impacting the ability to access full ranges of wild foods upon release. We suggest captive diet plans consider not just nutritional requirements but also food mechanical properties when rearing wildlife to adulthood for reintroduction.