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Title:Gait analysis techniques to understand the effect of a hip strength improving program on lower-limb amputees
Author(s):Morris, Emily A.
Advisor(s):Hsiao-Wecksler, Elizabeth T.
Department / Program:Mechanical Sci & Engineering
Discipline:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
data normalization
lower-limb amputees
hip strengthening
Abstract:The ability to walk can be severely compromised by a lower-limb amputation, which can have long-reaching consequences to the individual’s health and safety. It has been reported that the high incidence of lower back pain and joint degradation experienced by lower-limb amputees can be attributed to the way amputees carry themselves during walking. The techniques adopted by amputees have a direct correlation to the muscle strength of the residual limb. It was theorized in this study that a hip strength training program would improve amputees’ gait performance. An additional aim of the study was to determine if the training program was sufficient to enable lower-limb amputees to run. To assess potential changes in walking gait biomechanics as a consequence of the hip strengthening training, kinematic movement data collected with computerized motion capture techniques were analyzed using both novel and traditional gait analysis methods. A novel technique of time warping gait data to kinematic gait events was developed and validated initially using data from healthy adult males with a simulated knee injury. This technique provided additional insights into temporal shifts in gait behaviors under the simulated injury, as well as providing greater alignment of the kinematic curves. This tool along with standard spatiotemporal metrics and kinematic profile analysis were used to analyze the results from the hip strengthening study. Another analysis of the hip strengthening program data found that the metabolic cost of walking in the training group decreased, hip flexor and extensor strength increased, and all but one member of the training group were able to run after training. In the current study, however, no significant changes in the kinematic gait behaviors for the training group in the pre- vs. post- training analysis were found. The control group’s kinematic profiles did show some significant changes after the ten-week period, indicative of deterioration in gait performance. These results suggest that the hip strengthening program may have prevented similar trends from occurring in the training group. The gait analysis tools employed on this data set provided greater insight into the kinematic strategies employed by lower-limb amputees, as well as emphasizing the necessity for continuous muscle strength training in this population.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Emily A. Morris
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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