Human gait is a complex process that involves the coordination of the central nervous and muscular systems. A disruption to the either system results in the impairment of a person’s ability to walk. Impairments can be caused by neurological disorders such as stroke and physical conditions like amputation. There is not a standardized method to quantitatively assess the gait asymmetry of affected subjects. The purpose of this research is to understand the fundamental aspects of asymmetrical effects on the human body and improve rehabilitation techniques and devices. This research takes an interdisciplinary approach to address the limitations with current rehabilitation methodologies.
The goal of my Doctoral research is to understand the fundamental effects of asymmetry caused by physical and neurological impairments. The methods discussed in this document help in developing better solutions to rehabilitate impaired individuals’ gait. I studied four major hypothesis in regards to gait asymmetry. The first hypothesis is the potential of asymmetric systems to have symmetric output. The second hypothesis is that a method that incorporates a wider range of gait parameter asymmetries can be used as a measure for gait rehabilitation. The third hypothesis is that individuals can visually identify subtle gait asymmetries. Final hypothesis is to establish the relationship between gait quality and function. Current approaches to rehabilitate impaired gait typically focus on achieving the same symmetric gait as an able-body person. This cannot work because an impaired person is inherently asymmetric and forcing them to walk symmetrically causes them to adopt patterns that are not beneficial long term. Instead, it is more prudent to embrace the asymmetry of the condition and work to minimize in specific gait parameters that may cause more harm over the long run. Combined gait asymmetry metric (CGAM) provides the necessary means to study the effect of the gait parameters and it is weighted to balance each parameter’s effect equally by normalizing the data. CGAM provides the necessary means to study the effect of the gait parameters and is weighted towards parameters that are more asymmetric. The metric is also designed to combine spatial, temporal, kinematic, and kinetic gait parameter asymmetries. It can also combine subsets of the different gait parameters to provide a more thorough analysis. CGAM will help define quantitative thresholds for achievable balanced overall gait asymmetry. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)
|Advisor:||Reed, Kyle B.|
|Commitee:||Carey, Stephanie, Gaines, Jonathan, Kim, Seok Hun, Lee, William|
|School:||University of South Florida|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical therapy, Biomedical engineering, Mechanical engineering, Biomechanics|
|Keywords:||Biomechanics, Clinical evaluation metrics, Neurodegenerative impairments, Prosthetics, Rehabilitation devices|
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