Qualitative analysis of foot intersegment coordination in the sagittal plane following surgery for end-stage ankle osteoarthrosis

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Abstract

Today, ankle joint kinematic assessment gives important information regarding the intersegment range of motion. It does not, however, provide information regarding coordination between the segments. This study aimed to determine whether or not intersegment coordination can provide valuable, otherwise missed information in relation to kinematic alterations of the ankle joint. The study consisted of 40 participants, including 12 total ankle replacement (TAR) patients, 12 ankle arthrodesis (AA) patients, and 16 controls. Gait assessment was carried out wearing 3-D inertial sensors. Intersegment coordination was determined by calculation of the continuous relative phase (CRP) between foot intersegments. CRP analysis found useful information regarding the magnitude and directionality of segment motion throughout the gait cycle, with AA patients reporting an altered coordination pattern for all three intersegments, forefoot–hindfoot, hindfoot–shank, and forefoot–shank, and TAR patients showing alterations in the hindfoot–shank intersegment. Results show that assessment of intersegment coordination can provide further information, otherwise overlooked by the general kinematic assessment, which could be used to optimize patient rehabilitation. Furthermore, the study showed that such information could be used to compare surgical outcomes. As a result, the study concludes that the inclusion of intersegment coordination assessment could be beneficial in clinical practice. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res

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