Measurement of lower extremity kinematics during level walking

J Orthop Res. 1990 May;8(3):383-92. doi: 10.1002/jor.1100080310.


A simple external marker system and algorithms for computing lower extremity joint angle motion during level walking were developed and implemented on a computer-aided video motion analysis system (VICON). The concept of embedded axes and Euler rotation angles was used to define the three-dimensional joint angle motion based on a set of body surface markers. Gait analysis was performed on 40 normal young adults three times on three different test days at least 1 week apart using the marker system. Angular motion of the hip, knee, and ankle joints and of the pelvis were obtained throughout a gait cycle utilizing the three-dimensional trajectories of markers. The effect of uncertainties in defining the embedded axis on joint angles was demonstrated using sensitivity analysis. The errors in the estimation of joint angle motion were quantified with respect to the degree of error in the construction of embedded axes. The limitations of the model and the marker system in evaluating pathologic gait are discussed. The relatively small number of body surface markers used in the system render it easy to implement for use in routine clinical gait evaluations. Additionally, data presented in this paper should be a useful reference for describing and comparing pathologic gait patterns.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Male