The purpose of this research was to evaluate a newly developed system for assessing and providing feedback of gait symmetry information in real time to subjects walking on a motorised treadmill (the CCF Treadmill). The advantages of the system are that it allows the rapid collection and comparison of temporal and kinetic parameters of gait for multiple successive strides, at a constant known speed, without forcing subjects to target their footsteps. Gait asymmetries of six normal (mean age 42.7 years) and six unilateral transtibial amputee subjects (mean age 41.7, and average 6.0 years using a prosthesis) were quantified. The amputee group was then reevaluated after receiving five minutes of training with each of three different types of real-time visual feedback (RTVF). Asymmetries in the measured parameters before feedback were 4.6 times greater in the amputee population than in the normal group, and were consistent with the finding of previous authors. Significant decreases in gait asymmetry were demonstrated for all forms of feedback after amputees received feedback training. Results, however, indicate that gait asymmetries for different variables are not necessarily related, and that more work needs to be done to identify those variables for which attaining a more symmetrical gait pattern is most beneficial. Further work also needs to be done to determine the long term effects of such RTVF training. The CCF Treadmill and RTVF were shown to be potentially useful tools both for defining rehabilitation targets and for quantifying patients' progress towards those goals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)