Validation of foot pitch angle estimation using inertial measurement unit against marker-based optical 3D motion capture system
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Gait analysis is relevant to a broad range of clinical applications in areas of orthopedics, neurosurgery, rehabilitation and the sports medicine. There are various methods available for capturing and analyzing the gait cycle. Most of gait analysis methods are computationally expensive and difficult to implement outside the laboratory environment. Inertial measurement units, IMUs are considered a promising alternative for the future of gait analysis. This study reports the results of a systematic validation procedure to validate the foot pitch angle measurement captured by an IMU against Vicon Optical Motion Capture System, considered the standard method of gait analysis. It represents the first phase of a research project which aims to objectively evaluate the ankle function and gait patterns of patients with dorsiflexion weakness (commonly called a “drop foot”) due to a L5 lumbar radiculopathy pre- and post-lumbar decompression surgery. The foot pitch angle of 381 gait cycles from 19 subjects walking trails on a flat surface have been recorded throughout the course of this study. Comparison of results indicates a mean correlation of 99.542% with a standard deviation of 0.834%. The maximum root mean square error of the foot pitch angle measured by the IMU compared with the Vicon Optical Motion Capture System was 3.738° and the maximum error in the same walking trail between two measurements was 9.927°. These results indicate the level of correlation between the two systems.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13534-018-0072-5
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