Sagittal and Frontal Plane Gait Initiation Kinetics in Healthy, Young Subjects

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Andrew W. Smith, Del P. Wong

The study purposes were to record the lower extremity sagittal and frontal joint moments and powers during gait initiation (GI); evaluate GI support moments in both planes; and analyze planar energy patterns in a group of 15 healthy, young adults. 3D motion and ground reaction force data were used to calculate support moments (SM) and joint moments and powers as well as center of mass (COM) kinematics. STEP1 had no visible SM. It appeared in STEP2 and, by STEP3, resembled that seen in steady-state gait. Joint moments demonstrated a similar development towards typical patterns over the three steps. Correlations of moment data between planes indicate that the frontal plane component of the SM acts to keep the COM centered. It is suggested that Winter’s 1980 SM definition be extended to include both a support (sagittal) component and a centering (frontal) component. Energy was calculated for individual bursts of joint powers in both planes and each step had characteristic patterns in each plane, with patterns resembling steady-state gait appearing in the third step. Test-retest reliability (ICC range: 0.796 – 0.945) was high with CV values in the sagittal plane (36.6 – 37.5%) being less variable than in the frontal plane (39.0 – 82.0%). COM kinematics revealed that acceleration peaked in STEP2 (ICC range: 0.950 – 0.980, CV < 20.0%). Data supported hypotheses regarding the dominance of the frontal plane power in STEP1, with substantial power coming from hip flexors. As well, powers in the sagittal plane were generally of larger magnitude than in the frontal plane.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0087
Key words
gait initiation, joint moments, joint powers, energy

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