The duration of stance and swing phase and step and stride length are important parameters in human gait. In this technical note a low-cost ultrasonic motion analysis system is described that is capable of measuring these temporal and spatial parameters while subjects walk on the floor. By using the propagation delay of sound when transmitted in air, this system is able to record the position of the subjects' feet. A small ultrasonic receiver is attached to both shoes of the subject while a transmitter is placed stationary on the floor. Four healthy subjects were used to test the device. Subtracting positions of the foot with zero velocity yielded step and stride length. The duration of stance and swing phase was calculated from heel-strike and toe-off. Comparison with data obtained from foot contact switches showed that applying two relative thresholds to the speed graph of the foot could reliably generate heel-strike and toe-off. Although the device is tested on healthy subjects in this study, it promises to be extremely valuable in examining pathological gait. When gait is asymmetrical, walking speed is not constant or when patients do not completely lift their feet, most existing devices will fail to correctly assess the proper gait parameters. Our device does not have this shortcoming and it will accurately demonstrate asymmetries and variations in the patient's gait. As an example, the recording of a left hemiplegic patient is presented in the discussion. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Tijdschrift||Journal of biomechanics|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||6|
|Status||Published - jun.-2002|