Date of Award

Summer 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Harris, Gerald

Second Advisor

Jeutter, Dean

Third Advisor

Johnson, Jeff


Gait analysis has proven to be a useful quantitative tool for pre-operative decision making and post-operative followup. Clinical applications include the assessment of patients with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, head and spine trauma, total joint replacement and stroke. The effectiveness of this tool in providing insight into biomechanical dysfunction and associated treatments has been demonstrated through altered approaches to surgery, therapy and orthotic prescription. Most notably, this impact has been demonstrated in pediatric orthopaedics through reduction of the "birthday syndrome" (or annual surgery) with new, multilevel, combined surgical approaches. Developing a system to monitor motion of the foot and ankle during gait represents a challenging progression of motion analysis technology. Although kinematic.analysis of foot and ankle motion during gait has been introduced by other investigators, these methods are not practical for use in a clinical setting. The effectiveness of the current foot and ankle motion analysis system in gathering clinical kinematic data has allowed the investigation of hallux valgus pathology. Hallux valgus is a complex, disorder involving deviation of the first metatarsal. Both conservative and surgical approaches have been introduced to correct this pathology. Kinematic analysis has the potential to provide unique insight into the mechanics of normal and pathological hallux valgus motion with implications for improved treatments. Improvement upon the kinematic model to include kinetic information represents a further extension of this technology. By developing this model and integrating the appropriate instrumentation into the current system, characterization of the kinetic patterns of the foot and ankle during gait can be accomplished.



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