Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Benson, Lisa

Committee Member

LaBerge , Martine

Committee Member

Martin , Steven


The use of body-fixed inertial sensors to analyze human movement may prove useful in the medical field. Improving orthopaedic device design, diagnosing musculoskeletal disorders, and rehabilitation assessment could all benefit from a mobile gait analysis system based on inertial sensors. More specifically, patients recovering from lower limb corrective surgeries tend to adjust gait patterns to accommodate pain, a condition referred to as antalgic gait. Currently there is no quantitative method available to assess recovery for this patient population during post-operative management. A comparison of the inertial sensor system with the camera-based industry standard has confirmed it as a viable method for lower limb motion analysis during normal gait.
The inertial sensors consist of multiple accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers used to obtain raw data, which is manipulated to calculate dynamic parameters. By comparing kinematic parameters between affected and unaffected limbs, it is possible to deduce a set of unique knee functionality ratios for recovering fracture patients. A control population was used to verify no significant difference (p > 0.05) of seven kinematic parameters between limbs during normal gait. Parameters included peak knee flexion-extension angles at 15±5% and 75±5% gait cycle. These parameters were then analyzed in a group of patients recovering from lower limb fractures, using the unaffected limb as a control/reference. The goal of this project is to use inertial sensor technology to pinpoint specific kinematic parameters of the lower limb that are clinically appropriate in assessing knee function of lower limb fracture patients during the post-operative time span critical in normal gait recovery.



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