Limb dominance, foot orientation and functional asymmetry during walking gait.
BACKGROUND CONTEXT Research employing gait measurements indicate asymmetries in ground reaction forces and suggest relationships between these asymmetries, neurological dysfunction and spinal deformity. Although, studies have documented the use of centre of pressure (CoP) and net joint moments in gait assessment and have assessed centre of mass (CoM)-CoP distance relationships in clinical conditions, there is a paucity of information relating to the moments about CoM. It is commonly considered that CoM is situated around S2 vertebra in normal upright posture and hence this study uses S2 vertebral prominence as reference point relative to CoM. PURPOSE To assess and establish asymmetry in the CoP pattern and moments about S2 vertebral prominence during level walking and its relationship to spinal deformity in adolescents with scoliosis. PATIENT SAMPLE Nine Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis subjects (8 females and 1 male with varying curve magnitudes and laterality) scheduled for surgery within 2-3 days after data collection, took part in this study. OUTCOME MEASURES Kinetic and Kinematic Gait assessment was performed with an aim to estimate the CoP displacement and the moments generated by the ground reaction force about the S2 vertebral prominence during left and right stance during normal walking. METHODS The study employed a strain gauge force platform to estimate the medio-lateral and anterior-posterior displacement of COP and a six camera motion analysis system to track the reflective markers to assess the kinematics. The data were recorded simultaneously. RESULTS Results indicate wide variations in the medio lateral direction CoP, which could be related to the laterality of both the main and compensation curves. This variation is not evident in the anterior-posterior direction. Similar results were recorded for moments about S2 vertebral prominence. Subjects with higher left compensation curve had greater displacement to the left. CONCLUSION Although further longitudinal studies are needed, results indicate that the variables identified in this study are applicable to initial screening and surgical evaluation of scoliosis.