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Between-Day Reliability of a Cluster-Based Method for Multisegment Kinematic Analysis of the Foot-Ankle Complex

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  • 1 Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
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Background

Detailed description of foot pronation-supination requires multisegment evaluation of the kinematics of the foot-ankle complex. There are noninvasive methods with independent (single) tracking markers attached directly to the skin. However, these methods are inconsistent with the usual rigid segments assumption. In contrast, using clustered markers is compatible with this assumption and is necessary for analyses that need tracking markers to be distant from the foot (eg, shod walking). This study investigated the between-day reliability of a cluster-based method for multisegment analysis of foot-ankle angles related to pronation-supination.

Methods

Ten healthy adults participated in the study. An anatomically based, three-dimensional model comprising the shank, calcaneus, and forefoot was created. Rigid clusters of tracking markers were used to determine the relative positions and motions of the segments. Mean positions were measured with the subtalar joint in neutral position during standing. Furthermore, mean angles, peaks, and timings of peaks were measured during the stance phase of walking. All of the variables were measured twice, with a 1-week interval. To evaluate reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated for discrete variables and coefficients of multiple correlation for entire gait curves.

Results

Intraclass correlation coefficients varied from 0.8 to 0.93 for the angles obtained when the subtalar joint was in neutral and from 0.76 to 0.9 for walking variables. Coefficients of multiple correlation varied from 0.93 to 0.97 for walking curves.

Conclusions

The method described has good to high reliability and provides a systematic method for multisegment kinematic evaluation of foot-ankle pronation-supination.

Corresponding author: Thales R. Souza, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-010, Brazil. (E-mail: thalesrsouza@gmail.com)