Characterization of Quadruped Gait

J. Lee (USA)


Animal ModelsGround Reaction ForcesGait


Animal models are useful for studying a variety of treatments for orthopaedic pathologies, and most of the animals utilized in this manner are quadrupeds. Quantification and characterization of quadruped motion is necessary for evaluating study results and for designing an effective study. This study was undertaken to characterize the forces of quadruped walking gait using goats as the animal model. Reflective markers were placed at anatomic points along the fore and hind limbs. The goats were walked across a force plate platform and reaction forces recorded in synchronicity with video recordings of their motion. Measurements were taken with four animals on a variety of occasions at the animal's preferred walking velocity. The ground reaction forces were plotted and matched to the motion of the limbs, obtaining a composite plot of the ground reaction forces for all limbs. There were strong correlations between the direction of the reaction forces for a given limb and the cycle event (such as toe-off) for the contra-lateral limb. This suggested an idealized vector plot of reaction forces to characterize quadruped gait. Measured variations from the idealized plot were then utilized as a calculated factor to compare individuals during a research study comparing orthopaedic therapies.

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