Development of a Visualization Tool to Understand Gait




Patterson, Rita


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Objective: The aim of this study was to create a visualization tool that illustrates the motion of specific joint angles during gait cycles. An example of how this tool would be beneficial to understanding gait will be presented by comparing a patient’s joint angle before and after application of Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and heel lift therapy to improve back pain. Design: A V-gait CAREN system was used to create realistic virtual environments in order to test functional gait and balance in situations that resemble real life. Reflective markers were placed on the head, arms, legs and torso. A 12-camera Motion Analysis System (Motion Analysis Corp., Santa Rosa, CA) tracked reflective markers placed on the body, allowing precise calculation of kinematics, gait parameters, and joint range of motion during movements using the GRAIL (Gait Real-Time Analysis interactive lab) and GOAT (Grail offline analysis tool). A list of 17 joint parameters were compiled and separated into left and right joints on an excel sheet. For each parameter, 50 cycles of gait were analyzed. Sample data from a preliminary subject that has gone through gait analysis via the V-gait CAREN system (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment Network, Motek Medical, The Netherlands) were inputted into the list and each cycle was graphed Results: Graphs for joint parameters up to 50 gaits cycles were automatically generated using the excel tool and proved to be effective for visualizing gait motion. Conclusions: Presentation of one possible way to utilize this tool looks at data from one of our existing studies that compares gait changes of a patient before and after OMM and heel lift therapy to investigate improvements in back pain. Other potential uses for this tool that is not presented would be to visualize the motion of specific joints and compare a subject with a pathologic joint to a subject with a non-pathologic joint. In addition, left and right side joint angles could be compared within one subject. Lastly, pre-treatment and post-treatment analysis can be done for patients using this tool.