The hindlimb in walking horses: 2. Net joint moments and joint powers.

Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48854, USA.
Equine Veterinary Journal (Impact Factor: 2.37). 02/2001; 33(1):44-8. DOI: 10.2746/042516401776767359
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of the study was to describe net joint moments and joint powers in the equine hindlimb during walking. The subjects were 5 sound horses. Kinematic and force data were collected synchronously and combined with morphometric information to determine net joint moments at each hindlimb joint throughout stance and swing. The results showed that the net joint moment was on the caudal/plantar side of all hindlimb joints at the start of stance when the limb was being actively retracted. It moved to the cranial/dorsal side around 24% stride at the hip and stifle and in terminal stance at the more distal joints. It remained on the cranial/dorsal side of all joints during the first half of swing to provide active limb protraction, then moved to the caudal/plantar aspect to reverse the direction of limb motion prior to ground contact. The hip joint was the main source of energy generation throughout the stride. It was assisted by the tarsal joint in both stance and swing phases and by the fetlock joint during the stance phase. The coffin joint acted as an energy damper during stance, whereas the stifle joint absorbed almost equal amounts of energy in the stance and swing phases. The coffin and fetlock joints absorbed energy as the limb was protracted and retracted during the swing phase, suggesting that their movements were driven by inertial forces. Future studies will apply these findings to detect changes in the energy profiles due to specific soft tissue injuries.

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