Ambulatory measurement of ankle kinetics for clinical applications

H Rouhani, J Favre, X Crevoisier, K Aminian
Journal of Biomechanics 2011 October 13, 44 (15): 2712-8
This study aimed to design and validate the measurement of ankle kinetics (force, moment, and power) during consecutive gait cycles and in the field using an ambulatory system. An ambulatory system consisting of plantar pressure insole and inertial sensors (3D gyroscopes and 3D accelerometers) on foot and shank was used. To test this system, 12 patients and 10 healthy elderly subjects wore shoes embedding this system and walked many times across a gait lab including a force-plate surrounded by seven cameras considered as the reference system. Then, the participants walked two 50-meter trials where only the ambulatory system was used. Ankle force components and sagittal moment of ankle measured by ambulatory system showed correlation coefficient (R) and normalized RMS error (NRMSE) of more than 0.94 and less than 13% in comparison with the references system for both patients and healthy subjects. Transverse moment of ankle and ankle power showed R>0.85 and NRMSE<23%. These parameters also showed high repeatability (CMC>0.7). In contrast, the ankle coronal moment of ankle demonstrated high error and lower repeatability. Except for ankle coronal moment, the kinetic features obtained by the ambulatory system could distinguish the patients with ankle osteoarthritis from healthy subjects when measured in 50-meter trials. The proposed ambulatory system can be easily accessible in most clinics and could assess main ankle kinetics quantities with acceptable error and repeatability for clinical evaluations. This system is therefore suggested for field measurement in clinical applications.

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