Human movement analysis using stereophotogrammetry. Part 4: assessment of anatomical landmark misplacement and its effects on joint kinematics

Gait Posture. 2005 Feb;21(2):226-37. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.05.003.


Estimating the effects of different sources of error on joint kinematics is crucial for assessing the reliability of human movement analysis. The goal of the present paper is to review the different approaches dealing with joint kinematics sensitivity to rotation axes and the precision of anatomical landmark determination. Consistent with the previous papers in this series, the review is limited to studies performed with video-based stereophotogrammetric systems. Initially, studies dealing with estimates of precision in determining the location of both palpable and internal anatomical landmarks are reviewed. Next, the effects of anatomical landmark position uncertainty on anatomical frames are shown. Then, methods reported in the literature for estimating error propagation from anatomical axes location to joint kinematics are described. Interestingly, studies carried out using different approaches reported a common conclusion: when joint rotations occur mainly in a single plane, minor rotations out of this plane are strongly affected by errors introduced at the anatomical landmark identification level and are prone to misinterpretation. Finally, attempts at reducing joint kinematics errors due to anatomical landmark position uncertainty are reported. Given the relevance of this source of errors in the determination of joint kinematics, it is the authors' opinion that further efforts should be made in improving the reliability of the joint axes determination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Photogrammetry*