The purpose of this study was (1) to demonstrate a computer-assisted gait analysis system that can visualize the locus of the dynamic loading axis on the proximal tibia joint surface, and (2) to assess the accuracy of this system in a patient with bilateral knee osteoarthritis (OA). This system uses force plate data, CT skeletal structure data and motion capture data obtained from an infrared position sensor. The relative positions between bones and markers were used to calculate skeletal model movement based on movement of the markers. The locus of the dynamic loading axis on the knee joint was defined as the point on the proximal tibia joint surface that intersected with the loading axis of the lower limb, which passed through the centre of the femoral head and the centroid of multiple points surrounded by the distal tibia joint surface contour. To assess the accuracy of this system, open MRI was used to evaluate positions of skin markers against bones in six healthy volunteers. The locus in a patient was affected by differences between the varus knee with medial compartment OA on the non-operative side and the knee treated with high tibial osteotomy (HTO) on the opposite side. At knee flexion angles of 0°, 15° and 30°, the mean value of measurement error for point locations on the locus was within 5.6% of joint width in the lateral direction (JWLD) on the proximal tibia joint. This system can provide clinically useful information for evaluation of the dynamic loading axis on the knee joint surface.
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