BACKGROUND: Biomechanical gait analyses are typically performed in laboratory settings, and are associated with limitations due to space, marker placement, and tasks that are not representative of the real-world usage of lower limb prostheses. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of accurately measuring gait parameters using embedded sensors in a microprocessor-controlled knee joint.
METHODS: Ten participants were recruited for this study and equipped with a Genium X3 prosthetic knee joint. They performed level walking, stair/ramp descent, and ascent. During these tasks, kinematics and kinetics (sagittal knee and thigh segment angle, and knee moment) were recorded using an optical motion capture system and force plates (gold standard), as well as the prosthesis-embedded sensors. Root mean square errors, relative errors, correlation coefficients, and discrete outcome variables of clinical relevance were calculated and compared between the gold standard and the embedded sensors.
FINDINGS: The average root mean square errors were found to be 0.6°, 5.3°, and 0.08 Nm/kg, for the knee angle, thigh angle, and knee moment, respectively. The average relative errors were 0.75% for the knee angle, 11.67% for the thigh angle, and 9.66%, for the knee moment. The discrete outcome variables showed small but significant differences between the two measurement systems for a number of tasks (higher differences only at the thigh).
INTERPRETATION: The findings highlight the potential of prosthesis-embedded sensors to accurately measure gait parameters across a wide range of tasks. This paves the way for assessing prosthesis performance in realistic environments outside the lab.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
- Gait analysis
- Embedded sensors
- Microprocessor-controlled knee