Verification of skin-based markers for 3-dimensional kinematic analysis of the equine tarsal joint
ABSTRACT Kinematic studies are usually based on tracking markers attached to the skin. However, complex joints, such as the tarsal joint, function in 3-dimensions (3D), and have therefore necessitated application of the invasive bone pin technique, limiting kinematic studies to the research laboratory. This study investigates the feasibility of using skin-based markers for 3D analysis of tarsal joint motion.
Three-dimensional motions of the tarsal joint can be measured with an acceptable degree of accuracy using skin markers.
Retroreflective markers were attached over the tibial and metatarsal segments. Markers were tracked automatically at trot. Three-dimensional skin correction algorithms were used for correction of skin displacement, and 3D motions derived from the corrected (CSD) and uncorrected (USD) skin displacement were compared with data from a previous study in which those motions were described using bone-fixed markers (BFM) by correlation, root mean square errors (RMS) and shape agreement (SA) of the curves.
The RMS of BFM and CSD were smaller than those of BFM and USD for all motions. The correlation coefficients of BFM and CSD were higher than those of BFM and USD. SA was good or fair for all motions except internal/external rotation and medial/lateral translation.
With appropriate correction for skin movement relative to skeletal landmarks, skin markers can identify tarsal 3D motions for flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, cranial/caudal translation, and proximal/distal translation, allowing analysis and comparison of information between horses during swing and stance phases.
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ABSTRACT: Movement analysis techniques allow objective and quantitative assessment of kinematic gait analysis. Consistent repeatability of the kinematic data is essential for such assessments. This study investigated whether the repeatability of a standardised Equinalysis Elite gait analysis system is sufficient to allow its use in clinical evaluation of equine lameness with reliable documentation of individual locomotion patterns. The extent to which examinations on different days affected the results when a standardised protocol was used was investigated. The repeatability of distal limb kinematics in 9 sound horses over 3 successive days at 1 location was investigated. Measurements were performed at the examination area, for 3 motion cycles at the walk and trot, in each direction per day. Skin markers were placed on the lateral aspect of the coffin joint, forelimb fetlock joint, hindlimb fetlock joint, carpus, tarsus, elbow and stifle at clipped sites marked with a permanent marker. The inter-day repeatability of angular measurements of the carpus, tarsus, forelimb fetlock and hindlimb fetlock joints was determined. A low degree of inter-day repeatability was found with statistically significant (P=Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 12/2011; 31(12). DOI:10.1016/j.jevs.2011.05.016 · 0.89 Impact Factor
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