Ankle Osteoarthritis

Ambulatory Assessment of Foot Kinematics and Kinetics: Outcome Evaluation of Ankle Osteoarthritis Treatments

  • Contact person: Kamiar Aminian
  • People involved: Hossein Rouhani
  • Partners: CHUV – DAL
  • Funding source:


Two surgical treatments exist for ankle osteoarthritis (AO): ankle arthrodesis (AA) and total ankle replacement (TAR). Due to advantages and drawbacks of each treatment, decision making about these treatments is still a clinical question and thus, their outcome evaluation is of clinical interest. So far, outcome evaluation has been done via clinical scales based on questionnaires and clinical observations. However, clinical scales are subjective and are not accurate enough to detect subtle alterations in foot foot function. Therefore, objective outcome tools such as instrumented gait analysis are advantageous for evaluation of ankle osteoarthritis and its surgical treatments. In particular, possible alterations of kinematics and kinetics of ankle and other joints during gait can be relevant for outcome evaluation of these treatments. On the other hand, gait analysis has been performed in gait laboratories using complex and expensive equipments which are not available in all clinics. Besides, limited measurement space of gait laboratories can perturb the natural gait. Therefore, there is a need for in-field gait analysis for outcome evaluation of ankle osteoarthritis treatments.

Ambulatory Assessment of Foot Kinematics and Kinetics

The aim of this thesis is to design and validate new ambulatory systems for kinematics and kinetics assessment of multi-segment foot during long-distance gait and to apply these systems for objective outcome evaluation of ankle osteoarthritis treatments.
The present study proposed objective kinematic criteria for foot segmentation. Experiments with Optpelectronic motion capture system were done to study foot kinematics. According to these criteria, for clinical evaluations, foot and ankle complex could be reliably divided into shank, hindfoot, medial forefoot, lateral forefoot and toes.
Figure 2. Multi-segement foot kinematics assessment

New algorithms were introduced to estimate rotation of foot joints, 3D ground reaction force and kinetics of foot joints (force, moment and power) using ambulatory systems. First, kinematics of multi-segment foot was assessed, based on body-fixed inertial sensors (3D gyroscope ad 3D accelerometer) on shank, hindfoot, forefoot and toes. Second, plantar pressure insole, as an available ambulatory system in clinics, was used for assessing 3D ground reaction force. An optimal algorithm was proposed for estimating the 3D ground reaction force based on plantar pressure distribution. Third, inertial sensors and pressure insole were used for ambulatory assessment of multi-segment foot joints kinetics. These designed systems were validated with gold standard reference systems. As an advantage, they can be easily used in different clinical environments for long-distance field measurement without perturbing the natural gait.


Figure 3. Ambulatory assessment of foot knematics and kinetics