Reliability of four models for clinical gait analysis
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© 2017Three-dimensional gait analysis (3DGA) has become a common clinical tool for treatment planning in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Many clinical gait laboratories use the conventional gait analysis model (e.g. Plug-in-Gait model), which uses Direct Kinematics (DK) for joint kinematic calculations, whereas, musculoskeletal models, mainly used for research, use Inverse Kinematics (IK). Musculoskeletal IK models have the advantage of enabling additional analyses which might improve the clinical decision-making in children with CP. Before any new model can be used in a clinical setting, its reliability has to be evaluated and compared to a commonly used clinical gait model (e.g. Plug-in-Gait model) which was the purpose of this study. Two testers performed 3DGA in eleven CP and seven typically developing participants on two occasions. Intra- and inter-tester standard deviations (SD) and standard error of measurement (SEM) were used to compare the reliability of two DK models (Plug-in-Gait and a six degrees-of-freedom model solved using Vicon software) and two IK models (two modifications of ‘gait2392’ solved using OpenSim). All models showed good reliability (mean SEM of 3.0° over all analysed models and joint angles). Variations in joint kinetics were less in typically developed than in CP participants. The modified ‘gait2392’ model which included all the joint rotations commonly reported in clinical 3DGA, showed reasonable reliable joint kinematic and kinetic estimates, and allows additional musculoskeletal analysis on surgically adjustable parameters, e.g. muscle-tendon lengths, and, therefore, is a suitable model for clinical gait analysis.
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