Crouched posture maximizes ground reaction forces generated by muscles
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, & Biomedical Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2210, USA.Gait & posture (Impact Factor: 2.75). 04/2012; 36(3):405-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.03.020
Crouch gait decreases walking efficiency due to the increased knee and hip flexion during the stance phase of gait. Crouch gait is generally considered to be disadvantageous for children with cerebral palsy; however, a crouched posture may allow biomechanical advantages that lead some children to adopt a crouch gait. To investigate one possible advantage of crouch gait, a musculoskeletal model created in OpenSim was placed in 15 different postures from upright to severe crouch during initial, middle, and final stance of the gait cycle for a total of 45 different postures. A series of optimizations was performed for each posture to maximize transverse plane ground reaction forces in the eight compass directions by modifying muscle forces acting on the model. We compared the force profile areas across all postures. Larger force profile areas were allowed by postures from mild crouch (for initial stance) to crouch (for final stance). The overall ability to generate larger ground reaction force profiles represents a mechanical advantage of a crouched posture. This increase in muscle capacity while in a crouched posture may allow a patient to generate new movements to compensate for impairments associated with cerebral palsy, such as motor control deficits.
Full-text previewDOI: · Available from: rrg.utk.edu
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We previously studied balance during lateral load transfers, but were left without explanation of why some individuals were successful in novel low friction conditions and others were not. Here, we retrospectively examined lower extremity kinematics between successful (SL) and unsuccessful (UL) groups to determine what characteristics may improve low friction performance. Success versus failure over a novel slippery surface was used to dichotomise 35 healthy working-age individuals into the two groups (SL and UL). Participants performed lateral load transfers over three sequential surface conditions: high friction, novel low friction, and practiced low friction. The UL group used a wide stance with rotation mostly at the hips during the high and novel low friction conditions. To successfully complete the practiced low friction task, they narrowed their stance and pivoted both feet and torso towards the direction of the load, similar to the SL group in all conditions. This successful kinematic method potentially results in reduced muscle demand throughout the task. Practitioner Summary: The reason for this paper is to retrospectively examine the different load transfer strategies that are used in a low friction lateral load transfer. We found stance width to be the major source of success, while sagittal plane motion was altered to potentially maintain balance.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Stiff-knee gait is a troublesome movement disorder among children with cerebral palsy (CP), where peak swing phase knee flexion is diminished due to over-activity of the rectus femoris muscle. A common treatment for stiff-knee gait, rectus femoris transfer surgery, moves the muscle's distal tendon from the patella to the sartorius insertion on the tibia. As a biarticular muscle, rectus femoris may play a role in motor control and have unrecognized benefits for maintaining balance. We used musculoskeletal modeling, neuromuscular control, and forward dynamic simulation to investigate the role of rectus femoris tendon transfer surgery on balance recovery after support-surface perturbations for children with CP adopting two different crouched postures. We combined both high-level supraspinal and low-level spinal signals to generate 92 muscle excitations for tracking experimental whole body center of mass positions and velocities. Stability during balance recovery was evaluated by the minimum distance between the extrapolated center of mass and base of support boundary (bmin) and the minimum time to reach the boundary (TtBmin). The balance recovery of pre-surgical simulations (bmin=2.3+1.1cm, TtBmin=0.2+0.1s) were different (p=0.02), on average, than post-surgical simulations (bmin=-4.9+11.4cm, TtBmin=-0.1+0.3s) of rectus femoris transfers. The moderate crouch simulations (bmin=2.4+0.4cm, TtBmin=0.2+0.03s) were more stable than the mild crouch simulations (bmin=1.2+0.3cm, TtBmin=0.1+0.02s) following anterior translations of the support surface. These findings suggest that tendon transfer of rectus femoris affects balance recovery in children with CP.