Wearable Kinesthetic System for Joint Knee Flexion-Extension Monitoring In Gait Analysis
Mario Tesconi (University of Pisa, Italy), Enzo Pasquale Scilingo (University of Pisa, Italy), Pierluigi Barba (University of Pisa, Italy) and Danilo De Rossi (University of Pisa, Italy)
Copyright: © 2008
Posture and motion of body segments are the result of a mutual interaction of several physiological systems such as nervous, muscle-skeletal, and sensorial. Patients who suffer from neuromuscular diseases have great difficulties in moving and walking, therefore motion or gait analysis are widely considered matter of investigation by the clinicians for diagnostic purposes. By means of specific performance tests, it could be possible to identify the severity of a neuromuscular pathology and outline possible rehabilitation planes. The main challenge is to quantify a motion anomaly, rather than to identify it during the test. At first, visual inspection of a video showing motion or walking activity is the simplest mode of examining movement ability in the clinical environment. It allows us to collect qualitative and bidimensional data, but it does not provide neither quantitative information about motion performance modalities (for instance about dynamics and muscle activity), nor about its changes. Moreover, the interpretation of recorded motion pattern is demanded to medical personnel who make a diagnosis on the basis of subjective experience and expertise. A considerable improvement in this analysis is given by a technical contribution to quantitatively analyse body posture and gesture. Advanced technologies allow us to investigate on anatomic segments from biomechanics and kinematics point of view, providing a wide set of quantitative variables to be used in multi-factorial motion analysis. A personal computer enables a realtime 3D reconstruction of motion and digitalizes data for storage and off-line elaboration. For this reason, the clinicians have a detailed description of the patient status and they can choose a specific rehabilitation path and verify the subject progress.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Anatomical Repere: A prominent structure or feature of the human body that can be located and described by visual inspection or palpation at the body’s surface; used to define movements and postures. Also known as anatomical landmark.
Conductive Elastomer Composites: A rubberlike silicone material in which suspended metal particles conduct electricity.
Wearable Systems: Devices that are worn on the body. They have been applied to areas such as behavioral modeling, health monitoring systems, information technologies, and media development.
Piezoresistive Effect: The changing electrical resistance of a material due to applied mechanical stress.
Quantitative Gait Analysis: Useful in objective documentation of walking ability as well as identifying the underlying causes for walking abnormalities in patients with cerebral palsy, stroke, head injury, and other neuromuscular problems