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  • Replies to measurement of ankle movement query

    There was some interest in the replies I received to this query, so there
    follows a summary. Many thanks to all who replied; delays in responding are due
    to me catching up after a lengthy holiday, during which I considered ankle
    proprioception in the context of trekking and climbing in Nepal!

    Firstly, I shall describe more fully the work I am involved in. I am attempting
    to measure movement at the ankle in order to assess ankle proprioception by
    means of a repositioning test. As far as I am aware, there are only two reports
    of measurement of ankle proprioception that have permitted (and measured)
    movement in three dimensions (Feuerbach et al, 1994; Abboud et al, 1999) - I
    should be very interested to hear of any other such work. I am using a Northern
    Digital Polaris system, which works with collections of markers, referred to as
    tools, rather than individual markers. The output of the system is given in
    quaternion format (the recent BIOMCH-L discussion was of considerable interest
    to me!), but I am planning to convert the results into standard roll, pitch and
    yaw angles. I shall be investigating dorsi/plantarflexion and
    inversion/eversion, but I need to place the "tools" such that the combined,
    coupled movements about the ankle joint complex can be meaningfully described.
    I should be delighted to continue to hear from anyone with similar interests,
    or who can give pointers to previous work that I may not be aware of.

    Kind regards,


    ************************************************** ****************

    Original query:

    I am using an optical tracking system to measure movement at the ankle joint. I
    am interested in describing rotation at the ankle about a physiological axis of
    rotation, and would be grateful for any advice on placement of markers on the
    shank and the foot in order to do so.


    Chris Monk

    Chris Monk
    Clinical Bioengineer
    Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering
    Southampton General Hospital
    Tel: +44 (0)23 80 795085
    Fax: +44 (0)23 80 794117

    ************************************************** ****************


    We have published a paper 2 years ago using an electromagnetic 3D goniometry
    system, it might be of help to you, the reference is:
    *The Development of a Three Plane System for the Measurement of the Ankle/Sub-
    Joint Complex in Gait*, The Foot (1999), 9, 31-39. G C Rendall, R J Abboud

    Dr Rami J Abboud, BEng, MSc, PhD, MIEEE
    Master of Orthopaedic Surgery (MCh Orth) Course Director
    Foot Pressure Analysis Laboratory/Clinic Director
    TORT Centre, Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery Department
    Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, UK.
    tel:++44-(0)1382-496276 (Int. 36276), fax:++44-(0)1382-496347



    The subject of my Master's thesis involves using optical trackers to
    determine the location of ankle joint axes using optimization. I was
    wondering what research and applications you are looking at. I've
    attached a couple of short papers i just wrote which describes a little
    about the trackers i use and my research.


    cam shute


    Dear Chris I have designed one electromechanic machine
    wich is able to follow the physiological movements of
    the leg ankle and foot.I was reading your mail, but I
    can not understand which movement are you making
    reference at.You call it "rotation". could you be
    motre specific about the description of the reference
    axis?.I would like to exchange information with you.


    Dear Mr.Monk,

    There has been a lot of publication from our lab using optical
    tracking system Optotrak (Northern Digital Inc). If you have any
    questions don't hesistate to ask.
    Shortly: Put a marker on a foot one behind the toe and the other
    below the ankle. The third marker should be placed at the ankle
    joint and the fourth on the shank. Using the cosine sentence an
    ankle angle can be computed.

    Best regards,

    Imre Cikajlo

    Imre CIKAJLO univ.dipl.inz.el.
    Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering and Robotics
    University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
    Trzaska 25, p.p. 2999, 1001 Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
    tel: +386 1 4768 485
    fax: +386 1 4768 239


    Dear Chris,
    you may find some help by going through the
    Leardini A, O'Connor JJ, Catani F, Giannini S. Kinematics of the human
    ankle complex in passive flexion; a single degree of freedom system.
    J Biomech. 1999 Feb;32(2):111-8.
    in case your is an in-vitro study, or
    Leardini A, Benedetti MG, Catani F, Simoncini L, Giannini S. An
    anatomically based protocol for the description of foot segment kinematics
    during gait.
    Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 1999 Oct;14(8):528-36.
    in case your is an in-vivo study.


    Alberto Leardini, DPhil
    Movement Analysis Laboratory
    Centro di Ricerca Codivilla-Putti
    Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli
    Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna ITALY
    tel: +39 051 6366522
    mob: 0347 3237634
    fax: +39 051 6366561


    Dear Chris

    I noticed your mailing on the BIOMCH-L board, but I have been
    unable to retrieve your posting.

    I thought you might like to visit our website to see what intruments
    we manufacture for ankle measurements, as it could be of
    interest to you.

    If you have any questions, or if you would like to receive a
    copy of our product brochure and price lists, please let us
    have a postal address.

    Kind regards
    Mary Wilding
    Sales Office Manager
    Biometrics Ltd
    Tel: 01495 200800
    Fax: 01495 200806
    Date: 12 April 2001




    We're looking at ankle torque range of motion of diabetics. So we're also
    working on getting a joint angle around an axis of motion for each torque at
    a time step. One idea I'm trying is to strap a plate to the bottom of the
    foot and place my sensor there. Then collect data. I'm looking at how
    "circular" the path is. I have several simple methods to do this. One I get
    it working if you're interested I'll send it off to you. I'm using a
    Polhemus system for the motion and our lab custom made force wand for
    getting a force (into torque). Labview collects the wand's signal and I'm
    working a on a custom VI with Visual C++ to display it all in real time.


    David Giurintano
    Paul Brand Biomechanics Lab
    National Hansen's Disease Programs
    1770 Physicians Park Drive
    Baton Rouge LA 70816
    (225) 756-3740 (v)
    (225) 756-3745 (f)


    You may find something helpful from the following artical:

    Liu W, Siegler S, Hillstrom H, and Whitney K: Three dimensional, six-degrees-of-
    freedom kinematics of the human hindfoot during the stance phase of level
    walking. Human Movement Science, 16:283-298, 1997.


    Dear Chris,

    In this paper they developed a four-rigid body model of the foot and ankle.

    " A System for the Analysis of Foot and Ankle Kinematics During Gait"
    IEEE Trans. on Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 4, N. 1, March 1996
    Kidder, Abuzzahab, Harris and Johnson.

    I f possible I would like to know your progess if you to try implement
    it, and I would like to know what system you will to use.

    I am usig ProReflex cameras (Qualisys) and would like to build this model.

    Best regards,



    How many cameras do you have? Really, the only consideration is that they
    not the three markers on each of the shank and hindfoot not be collinear.
    For example, shank could be anterior mid-tibia, anterior distal tibia, and
    above the malleolus, while hindfoot could be posterior heel and two on the
    side of the heel. Do you want a medial or lateral view? What activity will
    subjects be performing? How do you intend to analyze the data? I am
    intrigued by your goal of representing a physiological axis of rotation, and
    wondered how you were going to mathematically represent this.


    Samuel Lee, M.Sc.
    Research Engineer
    Hospital for Special Surgery
    Department of Biomechanics & Biomaterials
    New York, N.Y. 10021 U.S.A.
    (212) 774-2382

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