Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 3646

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Nursing, University Complutense of Madrid, 28041 Madrid, Spain
Interests: biomechanics; posture; sports injuries; sport biomechanics; sports science; musculoskeletal disorders; movement analysis; rehabilitation; physical rehabilitation; treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Foot biomechanics is a primary topic in the scientific field and concerns the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. This area of study has the potential to provide optimal results and detail pathologies that are extremely harmful to patients and diminish quality of life dramatically.

In that sense, the interpretation and understanding of foot biomechanics changes on a daily basis because there is not a full and clear paradigm capable of explaining normal and abnormal foot behaviour.

Gait analysis devices and instruments of foot biomechanical assessment, which are breakthroughs in foot science, provide better and more accurate data. This advance enables the study of musculoskeletal disorders and provides many pathways through which to understand the injury, discover new treatments, and even uncover new preventive strategies for avoiding injury.

Advances in foot biomechanics and gait analysis are the future of human biomechanics, musculoskeletal and related sport-sciences, traumatology, and rehabilitation.

Prof. Dr. Rubén Sánchez-Gómez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • foot biomechanics
  • gait analysis
  • sport sciences
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • treatment pathologies

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 599 KiB  
Article
Effects of Functional Fatigue Protocol and Visual Information on Postural Control in Patients with Chronic Ankle Instability
by Kyungeon Kim, Hyunsoo Kim, Kyeongtak Song, Suji Yoon, Eun Ji Hong, Hyung Gyu Jeon, Kyoung Uk Oh and Sae Yong Lee
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(11), 4445; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14114445 - 23 May 2024
Viewed by 174
Abstract
Chronic ankle instability (CAI) patients often exhibit postural control deficits and rely on visual information to maintain static balance to compensate for decreased proprioception. Fatigue impairs neuromuscular control, in addition to postural control, in CAI patients. However, whether functional fatiguing exercises alter postural [...] Read more.
Chronic ankle instability (CAI) patients often exhibit postural control deficits and rely on visual information to maintain static balance to compensate for decreased proprioception. Fatigue impairs neuromuscular control, in addition to postural control, in CAI patients. However, whether functional fatiguing exercises alter postural control and sensory organization strategies during single-leg balance tests in CAI patients remains unclear. This study involved a controlled trial on 28 CAI patients in a laboratory setting. Each participant performed a single-leg balance test with eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) before and after a functional fatigue protocol. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVA evaluated fatigue (pre- vs. post-fatigue) × vision (EO vs. EC) interactions for outcome variables. Additionally, paired-sample t-tests examined differences between two conditions (pre- vs. post-fatigue) for time-to-boundary (TTB) minima (%modulation). We found significant interactions between fatigue and vision conditions in ML and AP TTBmeans and AP TTBsds. %Modulations were significantly decreased after fatigue in AP TTBmean, ML TTBsd, and AP TTBsd. In conclusion, static postural control ability decreased after the functional fatigue protocol with EO, but was unchanged with EC. This suggests that decreased balance ability is more pronounced with EO under fatigue due to less visual dependence. This may increase ankle sprain incidence under fatigue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis)
16 pages, 736 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Margin of Gait Stability in Healthy Elderly Using the Triaxial Kinematic Motion of a Single Body Feature
by Ziqi Liu, Shogo Okamoto, Tomohito Kuroda and Yasuhiro Akiyama
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 3067; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14073067 - 5 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Gait stability indices are crucial for identifying individuals at risk of falling while walking. The margin of stability is one such index, known for its good construct validity. Generally, the measurement of this stability index requires a motion capture system, rendering it inaccessible [...] Read more.
Gait stability indices are crucial for identifying individuals at risk of falling while walking. The margin of stability is one such index, known for its good construct validity. Generally, the measurement of this stability index requires a motion capture system, rendering it inaccessible for everyday use. This study proposes an alternative approach by estimating the index through time-series data of triaxial kinematic motion from a single body feature. We analyzed an open gait database comprising data from 60 participants aged over 60 to identify the most accurate body feature for estimating the margin of stability. The margin of stability values were estimated by using principal motion analysis, with the time series of the triaxial translational velocities of a body feature as predictors. Among the 10 body feature points, the sacral crest provided the highest accuracy, with the correlation coefficients between observation and estimation being 0.56 and 0.54 for the mediolateral and anterior directions, respectively. Although these values need to be further improved, these findings pave the way for developing an accessible system to estimate fall risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis)
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14 pages, 780 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Effect of Physical Ability on the Fall Mitigation Motion Using the Combination of Experiment and Simulation
by Yasuhiro Akiyama, Shuto Yamada, Shogo Okamoto and Yoji Yamada
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 3051; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14073051 - 4 Apr 2024
Viewed by 510
Abstract
The simulation of fall plays a critical role in estimating injuries caused by fall. However, implementing human fall mitigation motions on a simulator proves challenging due to the complexity and variability of fall movement. Our simulator estimates fall motion by extrapolating the motion [...] Read more.
The simulation of fall plays a critical role in estimating injuries caused by fall. However, implementing human fall mitigation motions on a simulator proves challenging due to the complexity and variability of fall movement. Our simulator estimates fall motion by extrapolating the motion observed in fall experiments. By incorporating actual fall motion data for the upper limbs, we enhanced the realism of the fall simulation. The application of forward dynamics control to the lower limbs allowed for the adjustment of mitigation motions, taking into account individual physical capabilities. In this study, fall simulations were conducted under the constraints of maximum joint torque and maximum torque change rate, emulating the physical capabilities of both the elderly and young adults. Our results successfully demonstrated the mitigation motion facilitated by the stance leg reduced the descent velocity of the center of mass by 0.75 m/s for elderly individuals and by 1.25 m/s for young adults, compared to a zero torque condition. This indicates that our study introduced a novel method for quantifying the impact of the lower limbs’ physical capabilities on fall velocity. Such a method represents a significant advancement in understanding how mitigation motions can influence fall injury simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis)
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14 pages, 625 KiB  
Article
Quantifying the External Joint Workload and Safety of Latin Dance in Older Adults: Potential Benefits for Musculoskeletal Health
by Tyrone M. Loría-Calderón, Carlos D. Gómez-Carmona, Keven G. Santamaría-Guzmán, Mynor Rodríguez-Hernández and José Pino-Ortega
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14072689 - 22 Mar 2024
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Abstract
As global aging rises, identifying strategies to mitigate age-related physical decline has become an urgent priority. Dance represents a promising exercise modality for older adults, yet few studies have quantified the external loads older dancers experience. This study aimed to characterize the impacts [...] Read more.
As global aging rises, identifying strategies to mitigate age-related physical decline has become an urgent priority. Dance represents a promising exercise modality for older adults, yet few studies have quantified the external loads older dancers experience. This study aimed to characterize the impacts accumulated across lower limb and spinal locations in older adults during Latin dance. Thirty older Latin dancers (age = 66.56 ± 6.38 years; female = 93.3%) wore inertial sensors on the scapulae, lumbar spine, knees, and ankles during a 1 h class. A distal-to-proximal gradient emerged in the total impacts (F = 429.29; p < 0.01; ωp2 = 0.43) and per intensities (F = 103.94-to-665.55; p < 0.01; ωp2 = 0.07-to-0.54), with the highest impacts sustained in the ankles (≈9000 total impacts) from 2 g to >10 g (p < 0.01; d = 1.03-to-4.95; ankles > knees > lower back > scapulae) and knees (≈12,000 total impacts) when <2 g (p < 0.01, d = 2.73-to-3.25; knees > ankles > lower back > scapulae). The majority of the impacts remained below 6 g across all anatomical locations (>94%). The impacts also increased in lower limb locations with faster tempos (r = 0.10-to-0.52; p < 0.01), while subtly accumulating over successive songs rather than indicating fatigue (r = 0.11-to-0.35; p < 0.01). The mild ankle and knee loads could strengthen the dancers’ lower extremity bones and muscles in a population vulnerable to sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and falls. Quantifying the workload via accelerometry enables creating personalized dance programs to empower healthy aging. With global aging rising, this work addresses a timely public health need regarding sustainable lifelong exercise for older people. Ranging from low to moderate, the measured impact magnitudes suggest that dance lessons may provide enough osteogenic stimulus without overloading structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis)
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Review

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14 pages, 427 KiB  
Review
Assessments Associated with the Diagnostics and Non-Surgical Treatment of Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction: A Systematic Review
by George Banwell, Laura Ramos-Petersen, Alfred Gatt, Gabriel Gijon-Nogueron and Eva Lopezosa-Reca
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 2362; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14062362 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of the assessment methods that are used to diagnose posterior tibialis tendon dysfunction (PTTD) and investigate how the results of these assessments can be used to instruct non-surgical treatments. Design: Systematic review. Data sources: Searches were conducted up [...] Read more.
Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of the assessment methods that are used to diagnose posterior tibialis tendon dysfunction (PTTD) and investigate how the results of these assessments can be used to instruct non-surgical treatments. Design: Systematic review. Data sources: Searches were conducted up to January 2023 in the PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Embase, Web of Science and Lilacs databases. Study eligibility criteria: Studies which included patients over 18 years of age, diagnosed with PTTD, which describe the assessments used to aid in the non-surgical treatment of PTTD in comparison with another type of assessment. All types of studies apart from protocols, letters to editor and other systematic reviews and meta-analysis were included. Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Two blinded reviewers performed screening, data extraction, and methodological quality assessments using the QUADAS-2. Results: A total of 15 observational studies were included in the review. Assessment methods included were verbal assessments, physical examinations, and imaging (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound (US), and radiographs). The single-heel rise test was a commonly mentioned physical examination, showing reliability in one study but contradicting in another. MRI was frequently described as the “gold standard”. However, US showed both comparable accuracy and advantages compared to MRI, such as cost-effectiveness and real-time examinations. Conclusions: There are many assessment methods described in the literature and, due to the lack of accuracy of the tests, a mixture of tests should be used to assess PTTD. The parameters from the tests can provide a diagnosis of PTTD, but do not offer detail on how they assist the non-surgical treatment of the condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis)
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Other

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13 pages, 2755 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Various Foot Wedges on Thigh Muscle Activity during Squatting in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Mohammadhossein Ghasemi, Behnam Gholami-Borujeni and Kristín Briem
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 2091; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14052091 - 2 Mar 2024
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Squatting is a common movement in daily activities, athletic training, rehabilitation programs, and even in the workplace. Identifying the effects of various foot wedges on thigh muscle activity during squatting can help specialists in terms of rehabilitation, injury prevention, physical preparation, and occupational [...] Read more.
Squatting is a common movement in daily activities, athletic training, rehabilitation programs, and even in the workplace. Identifying the effects of various foot wedges on thigh muscle activity during squatting can help specialists in terms of rehabilitation, injury prevention, physical preparation, and occupational optimization. In this study, systematic literature searches in six electronic databases (Cochrane Library, PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, and Scopus) were conducted up to December 2023. Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria (total n = 269 subjects). The results showed that posterior wedges significantly increased the overall activity of thigh muscles (p < 0.001, 12 studies). No significant change was observed for anterior (p = 0.730, six studies), medial (p = 0.169; three studies), and lateral wedges (p = 0.989, two studies). Compared with a non-wedge condition, the activity of the vastus medialis (p < 0.001, eight studies) was significantly higher using a posterior wedge during squatting, as was the activity of the rectus femoris (p = 0.021, five studies) using the anterior wedge. It seems that thigh muscle activation is modifiable with a change in footwear design, which may be useful during sports training, rehabilitation, or daily work routines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foot Biomechanics and Gait Analysis)
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