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Lower-limb Biomechanics

Characterization of barefoot and shod walking and running

Richard Franzese, Julie Stebbins

non_linear_gait_emgThis project aims to characterize shod and barefoot human walking and running gait by applying linear and nonlinear analyses to physiologically relevant gait variables. Footwear appears to alter kinematics, kinetics and muscle activity. In an attempt to understand how footwear alters kinematics, centre of mass acceleration and muscle activity, we simultaneously measure gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscle activity, the approximate centre of mass acceleration and three-dimensional motion of the lower limbs during treadmill walking and running. Nonlinear measures of the stride to stride variation of gait have potential for clinical use. By investigating this, we hope to understand how different conditions affect these variations and whether, for example, the behaviour is consistently correlated with specific conditions. Furthermore, compiling a database of barefoot and shod treadmill walking and running gait will provide a reference for future studies of normal and pathological subjects.

Lower-limb dynamics during non-linear walking tasks in children with cerebral palsy

Philippe Dixon, Tim Theologis, Julie Stebbins

turning_gaitCurrent clinical gait analysis assesses only level walking in a straight line. We propose that the addition of non-linear walking tasks, such as turning round a corner, will add extra, vital information to the data currently available for clinical decision making. We are using a database of turning-gait kinematics in children with no gait impairments to define essential temporal and kinematic parameters (for example, step length, width, and frequency, ankle range of motion, and so on). These will then be used in a study of non-linear walking tasks in children with cerebral palsy. Specific clinical protocols will be designed, and methods for analysing and presenting the data in a clinically understandable form will be investigated.