View Full Version : summary landmarks 4 modelling

John Cantrell
01-20-1997, 03:16 AM
Awhile back I posted a question regarding landmark points for
musculoskeletal modelling in non-human primates. Below is my query and a
summary of answers:


I'm a graduate student working of a musculoskeletal model of non-human
primates during locomotion. I'm looking for some anatomical reference
points to use for my dissertation research project. Suggestions that
would work for humans are most welcome, since these primates share many
anatomical similarities with humans.

I want to precisely define hip muscle function by capturing 3-D kinematic
data of animals walking and combining it with anatomical data taken from
carcasses. The anatomical data would establish the points of attachment
of muscles as well as the hip joint center and the hip joint angle data
would establish the lines of action of the muscles with respect to the hip
joint center. To properly define hip position in three dimensional space
I need 3 reference points on the pelvis and three on the femur. Ideally, I
would chose 6 points that would (1) be easy to mark on a live animal (when
it is asleep, of course), (2) be easily seen from either a front or side
view, and (3) be easy to measure on the carcasses. A discreet bony
protuberance such at the anterior superior iliac spine is a good example:
it's an obvious surface anatomy feature on the species I'm looking at and
it is a relatively discreet, measurable point on a carcass. The problem
is I can think of only 2 good points on the pelvis and 2 good points on
the femur; the two anterior superior iliac spines, the greater
trochanter, and the center of the lateral condyle of the knee. So, I need
another good point for the pelvis and another good point for the femur.


First, I wrote to one respondent who was concerned that I was going to
sacrifice animals for my research. I assure all concerned that all
carcasses involved in my research have died from old age, disease, or
accident. I have no plans to kill animals as a part of my research.

>From Stan Ajemian McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research
University of Calgary, Canada stan@mccaig.ucalgary.ca

I am not familiar with non-human primate anatomy, but there are a few
points on the human which may apply. For the pelvis, the two anterior
superior iliac spines are great; in addition it is easy to locate the
posterior superior iliac spines, the symphysi s pubis, or any fixed
distance along the iliac crest. The femur is more of a problem since most
of its surface is deep to soft tissue. The only easily definable bony
landmarks that I can think of are the greater trochanter, and the medial
and lateral femo ral condyles.

>From Michele Basso, PT, EdD
Div of PT
Ohio State University

I don't have any specific suggestions for you re: marker placement but
have had extensive experience trying to mark animals for 2D and 3D
kinematic studies. Before you begin, it is important to determine what
species you will be using. I have used both cats and rats with their
hindquarters shaved. A problem common to both of these species is
extensive skin slippage over the boney landmarks of the knee. In fact,
we no longer use a knee marker but use a triangulation technique with
the bone lengths of the femur and tibia to determine the position of the
knee. It is also my guess from evaluating the locomotion of rats, cats
and opossums, that skin slippage over the knee will be a problem in most
animals. Here are a couple of references re: kinematic analyses in
1. Basso, Murray, Goldberger (1994) Differential recovery of bipedal
and overground locomotion following complete spinal cord hemisection in
cats. Restorative Neurology & Neuroscience 7:95-110.

2. Gruner JA, Altman J, Spivack N (1980) Effects of arrested cerebellar
development on locomotion in the rat: Cinematographic and
Electromyographic Analysis. Exp. Brain Res 40:361-373

3. Goslow EG, Reinking RM, Stuart DG (1973) The cat step cycle:
Hindlimb joint angles and muscle lengths during unrestrained locomotion.
J. Morph 141:1-42.

>From Dan Baker
Several years ago I was doing some research into primate morphology and
ran across several interesting references which may be of some help.
They are:

Swindler, D. R., "An Atlas of Primate Gross Anatomy," Univ. Washington
Press, 1982.

Tuttle, R. H. (ed.), "Primate Functional Morphology and Evolution,"
Mouton Publishers, 1973.

It was in one of these two books that there was a section on primate
ambulation which indicated the importance of the hands during various
phases. Also the positioning of the hand during these phases was
critical, therefore you might endeavor to add a couple of markers to each
hand for tracking and analysis.

>From Joel Vilensky
I have taking many films of monkeys during locomotion and I suggest you
verify that there is limited skin movement of any points you choose. My
guess is that you will find that there is lots of skin movement. Further,
I suggest you start with 2-D measurements before progressing to 3-D. I
question the value of 3-D data when there is so little 2-D data.

I have not used skin markers on animals for years. However, I don't
do 3-D measurements. I would suggest you experiment with and
without using markers and see how it goes. You ought to anesthesize
some of the animals and see how much skin movement there is over
the points you want to use. I will tell you that if you don't use
markers you will need to have some measures of reliability (e.g.,
if you digitize the same stride 3 days in a row, do you get similar

>From Leslie Bailey, MSME
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, Md. 20723

Have you considered fiducial markers? The following references are
directed toward surgical registration, but the discussion is relevant to
your problem.

D.A. Simon, R.V. O'Toole, M. Blackwell, F. Morgan, A.M. DiGioia, T.
Kanade, "Accuracy Validation in Image-Guided Orthopeadic Surgery",
Proceedings 2nd Annual Symposium on Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted
Surgery, Baltimore, MD Nov. 1995 das@ri.cmu.edu, rvo@ri.cmu.edu,

D.A. Simon, M. Hebert, and T. Kanade, "Techniques for Fast and Accurate
Intrasurgical Registration" Journal of Image Guided surgery 1:17-29 (1995)

>From Luca Cristofolini
Laboratorio di Tecnologia dei Materiali tel. 39-(0)51-6366864
Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli fax. 39-(0)51-6366863
Via di Barbiano 1/10 E-mail:luca@tecno.ior.it
40136 Bologna, Italy

I had some experience with marking refence systems on **cadaveric** femurs
for in-vitro testing purposes. I am not sure if the same refence marks can
apply to your problem. In case you are interested, you might like to take a
look at the following paper:

Ruff C.B., Hayes W.C. (1983) Cross-sectional geometry at Pecos Pueblo
femora and tibiae - A biomechanical investigation: I. method and general
patterns of variation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 60:

There you will find an extensive definition of ** reproducible **
landmarks on the human femur.

>From Francesco La Palombara
Lab. Biomeccanica
via di Barbiano 1/10
fax: (+39).51.583 789
I-40136 Bologna
you might find some valuable suggestions concerning human kinematics
data collection in:
Cappozzo et al. (1995) Position and orientation of bones during
movement: anatomical frame definition and determination. Clin Biomech 10(4)
Cappozzo et al. (1996) Position and orientation of bones during
movement: experimental artefacts. Clin Biomech 11(2) 90-100.

As you do not mention which system you are going to use for your
measurements, I will add that both the aforementioned papers refer to data
deriving from stereophotogrammetric processing of video-recorded passive
marker trajectories.

>From Michael Orendurff
Gait Lab
Portland Shriners Hospital
Very interesting project. My response may be a
little vague but I think the posterior superior iliac spine
is the next best bet on the pelvis. This depends a lot on
what type of animal you are using but in general this
landmark shouldn't be too hard to palpate. For the femur,
we (in the gait lab) use a thigh wand to establish a plane
with the ASIS and the lateral condyle of the femur (knee
joint center). Our software moves the ASIS marker inferior,
medial and posterior to the assumed hip joint center using
regression equations based on leg length. This way we use
the ASIS as both a pelvic marker and as a hip marker. The
thigh wand establishes an axis on which the knee marker is
moved medially half the width of the knee (measured
Obviously, a thigh wand on almost any primate would
be of great interest and would undoubtedly be removed in
short order. We use double stick tape avaliable at beauty
supply houses (for men's hairpieces) and wrap around straps
to secure the wand to the thigh. Correctly establishing
the axis of the knee is difficult but we generally flex the
knee and try to place the wand on perpindicular to the

>From Fred Cei - BTS (The company that manufactures the ELITE system)

My experience is in human Gait Analysis. The only applicable experience I
can pull from is the study of subjects who have what is known as a "Crouch
Gait". This sems to be similar to Gait in primates, mainly that there is
excessive hip flexion and knee flexion throughout the entire Gait phase.

You wrote you needed these matters attended to:

(1) be easy to mark on a live animal (when it is asleep, of course),
(2) be easily seen from either a front or side view,
and (3) be easy to measure on the carcasses.

You mentioned that the landmarks you identified thus far were the ASIS,
and Lateral aspects of the femur. I'd like to propose just the opposite
based on marker tragectory tracking at the ASIS with crouch Gait. You will
find that marker obstruction will cause many headaches in the reduction
process as well as bring about accuracy questions when interpolation is
used to link large gaps in the hip motion. The solution is to use the PSIS
to identify the hip as well. Take a look at the Jim Guage protocol for
Gait analysis. His methods offer solutions to marker obstruction and may
serve you well. All points that he uses are easy to find and mark ( I'm
assuming that the anatomy of primates is the same )

As far as visibility of these reference points, consider selecting more
posteriorly visible positions like the ischial tuberosity. Is that a
realistic mark on primates? In humans, no. But maybe an option for you. If
you consider the more posterior positioning of markers, you run into the
same problems of marker obstruction.

The Femur is another beast altogether. Many different people use thigh
markers to help identify segments, but soft tissue movement is the
parameter that cannot be controlled, as you will see when using the
Trochanter position. The answer that was used in San Diego was the
placement of a Medial marker on the femoral condyle. This offered a third
point on the femur to help with moment calculations, the only trade off is
obstruction from the contralateral limb. The professional you want to
contact is Diane Ambrosini. She is in charge of protocols down there and
she's an excellent problem solver. (Children's Hospital Motion Analysis

I am not certain of the origin of the study, but I know that in Japan
there has been a fair amount of primate research done. I will check my
sources and see if I can come up with references for you.

THanks to every one for their responses and interest.

cYa, JOhn
John Cantrell_/) .oooO Oooo.
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Biological Anthropology and Anatomy
Duke University
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