Comparison of Lower Extremity Kinematics and Kinetics during Downhill and Valley-shape Combined Slope Walking Jeong, Jiyoung; Shin, Choongsoo S.;
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the knee and ankle joint kinematics and kinetics by comparing downhill walking with valley-shape combined slope walking. Method: Eighteen healthy men participated in this study. A three-dimensional motion capture system equipped with eight infrared cameras and a synchronized force plate, which was embedded in the sloped walkway, was used. Obtained kinematic and kinetic parameters were compared using paired two-tailed Student's t-tests at a significance level of 0.05. Results: The knee flexion angle after the mid-stance phase, the mean peak knee flexion angle in the early swing phase, and the ankle mean peak dorsiflexion angle were greater during downhill walking compared with valley-shape combined slope walking (p < 0.001). Both the mean peak vertical ground reaction force (GRF) in the early stance phase and late stance phase during downhill walking were smaller than those values during valley-shape combined slope walking. (p = 0.007 and p < 0.001, respectively). The mean peak anterior GRF, appearing right after toe-off during downhill walking, was also smaller than that of valley-shape combined slope walking (p = 0.002). The mean peak knee extension moment and ankle plantar flexion moment in late stance phase during downhill walking were significantly smaller than those of valley-shape combined slope walking (p = 0.002 and p = 0.015, respectively). Conclusion: These results suggest that gait strategy was modified during valley-shape combined slope walking when compared with continuous downhill walking in order to gain the propulsion for lifting the body up the incline for foot clearance.
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