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Can inertial measurement unit sensors evaluate foot kinematics in drop foot patients using functional electrical stimulation?

d'Andrea, F., Taylor, P., Yang, K. and Heller, B., 2023. Can inertial measurement unit sensors evaluate foot kinematics in drop foot patients using functional electrical stimulation? Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17, 1225086.

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fnhum-17-1225086.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2023.1225086


The accuracy of inertial measurement units (IMUs) in measuring foot motion in the sagittal plane has been previously compared to motion capture systems for healthy and impaired participants. Studies analyzing the accuracy of IMUs in measuring foot motion in the frontal plane are lacking. Drop foot patients use functional electrical stimulation (FES) to improve walking and reduce the risk of tripping and falling by improving foot dorsiflexion and inversion-eversion. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate if IMUs can estimate foot angles in the frontal and sagittal planes to help understand the effects of FES on drop foot patients in clinical settings. Two Gait Up sensors were used to estimate foot dorsi-plantar flexion and inversion-eversion angles in 13 unimpaired participants and 9 participants affected by drop foot while walking 6 m in a straight line. Unimpaired participants were asked to walk normally at three self-selected speeds and to simulate drop foot. Impaired participants walked with and without FES assistance. Foot angles estimated by the IMUs were compared with those measured from a motion capture system using curve RMSE and Bland Altman limits of agreement. Between participant groups, overall errors of 7.95° ± 3.98°, -1.12° ± 4.20°, and 1.38° ± 5.05° were obtained for the dorsi-plantar flexion range of motion, dorsi-plantar flexion at heel strike, and inversion-eversion at heel strike, respectively. The between-system comparison of their ability to detect dorsi-plantar flexion and inversion-eversion differences associated with FES use on drop foot patients provided limits of agreement too large for IMUs to be able to accurately detect the changes in foot kinematics following FES intervention. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate IMU accuracy in the estimation of foot inversion-eversion and analyze the potential of using IMUs in clinical settings to assess gait for drop foot patients and evaluate the effects of FES. From the results, it can be concluded that IMUs do not currently represent an alternative to motion capture to evaluate foot kinematics in drop foot patients using FES.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:drop foot; foot kinematics; functional electrical stimulation; gait analysis; inertial measurement unit
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:39231
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:07 Dec 2023 14:48
Last Modified:07 Dec 2023 14:48


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