Kinetic analysis of the lower limbs during walking: what information can be gained from a three-dimensional model?

J Biomech. 1995 Jun;28(6):753-8. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(94)00124-m.


Kinetic analyses (joint moments, powers and work) of the lower limbs were performed during normal walking to determine what further information can be gained from a three-dimensional model over planar models. It was to be determined whether characteristic moment and power profiles exist in the frontal and transverse planes across subjects and how much work was performed in these planes. Kinetic profiles from nine subjects were derived using a three-dimensional inverse dynamics model of the lower limbs and power profiles were then calculated by a dot product of the angular velocities and joint moments resolved in a global reference system. Characteristic joint moment profiles across subjects were found for the hip, knee and ankle joints in all planes except for the ankle frontal moment. As expected, the major portion of work was performed in the plane of progression since the goal of locomotion is to support the body against gravity while generating movements which propel the body forward. However, the results also showed that substantial work was done in the frontal plane by the hip during walking (23% of the total work at that joint). The characteristic joint profiles suggest defined motor patterns and functional roles in the frontal and transverse planes. Kinetic analysis in three dimensions is necessary particularly if the hip joint is being examined as a substantial amount of work was done in the frontal plane of the hip to control the pelvis and trunk against gravitational forces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Gravitation
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Male
  • Models, Structural*
  • Movement
  • Pelvic Bones / physiology
  • Rotation
  • Thorax / physiology
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology
  • Work / physiology