A comparison of systems to calculate changes in moments produced by an Ankle Foot Orthoses

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Orthotic Biomechanical Solutions 2010

Orthotic devices that incorporate neurological rectifications such as AFOs are widely used but their effectiveness has still to be quantified.
It was postulated that these modifications should influence ankle moments during ambulation.

To identify the most effective system to measure moments about the ankle a Vicon three dimensional gait analysis system was compared with the Novel Pedar and Tekscan F-scan in-shoe plantar pressure measurement systems.

The Vicon system can produce accurate data over a single step per trial whilst in-shoe systems can record a series of consecutive steps but are less accurate. Each in-shoe system was compared with the Vicon system over 20 trials. During measurement the subject wore an instrumented ankle foot orthosis to calculate the devices contribution to the overall moment.

The Vicon system recorded significant inter trial variation with a range of 87.4 to 200 Nm with a standard deviation of 22Nm. When comparing the systems the F-scan body moment results were on average 26 Nm below that of the Vicon system.

The Pedar system averaged 21.2 Nm difference with results both below and above the Vicon system. There was a significant difference between each of the 40 strikes on the Force plate itself throughout the trials. This questions the validity of relying upon one step to detect a small change in moment.

The in- shoe systems produced 216 measurable steps, but with a lower accuracy.
More work will be needed to improve the accuracy of the in-shoe systems to enable their use in this application.

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