Repeatability of gait pattern variables measured by use of extremity-mounted inertial measurement units in nonlame horses during trotting

Antonio M. Cruz Institute Suisse de Médicine Equine, University of Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland.

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 DVM, MVM, PhD
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Ugo E. Maninchedda Institute Suisse de Médicine Equine, University of Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland.

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 Dr Med vet, MSc
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Dominik Burger Institute Suisse de Médicine Equine, University of Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland.

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 Dr Med Vet, PhD
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Sabine Wanda Veterinary Public Health Institute, University of Bern, Bern 3079, Switzerland.

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Beatriz Vidondo Veterinary Public Health Institute, University of Bern, Bern 3079, Switzerland.

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 MSc IT, PhD

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine repeatability of gait variables measured by use of extremity-mounted inertial measurement units (IMUs) in nonlame horses during trotting under controlled conditions of treadmill exercise.

ANIMALS 10 horses.

PROCEDURES Six IMUs were strapped to the metacarpal, metatarsal, and distal tibial regions of each horse. Data were collected in a standardized manner (3 measurements/d on 3 d/wk over a 3-week period) while each horse was trotted on a treadmill. Every measurement consisted of a minimum of 20 strides from which a minimum of 10 strides was selected for analysis. Spatial and temporal variables were derived from the IMUs. Repeatability coefficients based on the within-subject SD were computed for each gait analysis variable at each week.

RESULTS Most of the temporal and spatial variables had high repeatability (repeatability coefficients < 10), and the repeatability coefficients were consistent among the 3 weeks of data collection. Some spatial variables, specifically the symmetry variables (which were calculated from other variables), had somewhat higher repeatability coefficients (ie, lower repeatability) only in the last week.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE With the exceptions of some symmetry variables, which may reflect individual variations during movement, the extremity-mounted IMUs provided data with high repeatability for nonlame horses trotting under controlled conditions of treadmill exercise. Repeatability was achieved for each instrumented limb segment with regard to the spatial relationship between 2 adjacent segments (joint angles) and the temporal relationship among all segments (limb phasing). Extremity-mounted IMUs could have the potential to become a method for gait analysis in horses.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine repeatability of gait variables measured by use of extremity-mounted inertial measurement units (IMUs) in nonlame horses during trotting under controlled conditions of treadmill exercise.

ANIMALS 10 horses.

PROCEDURES Six IMUs were strapped to the metacarpal, metatarsal, and distal tibial regions of each horse. Data were collected in a standardized manner (3 measurements/d on 3 d/wk over a 3-week period) while each horse was trotted on a treadmill. Every measurement consisted of a minimum of 20 strides from which a minimum of 10 strides was selected for analysis. Spatial and temporal variables were derived from the IMUs. Repeatability coefficients based on the within-subject SD were computed for each gait analysis variable at each week.

RESULTS Most of the temporal and spatial variables had high repeatability (repeatability coefficients < 10), and the repeatability coefficients were consistent among the 3 weeks of data collection. Some spatial variables, specifically the symmetry variables (which were calculated from other variables), had somewhat higher repeatability coefficients (ie, lower repeatability) only in the last week.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE With the exceptions of some symmetry variables, which may reflect individual variations during movement, the extremity-mounted IMUs provided data with high repeatability for nonlame horses trotting under controlled conditions of treadmill exercise. Repeatability was achieved for each instrumented limb segment with regard to the spatial relationship between 2 adjacent segments (joint angles) and the temporal relationship among all segments (limb phasing). Extremity-mounted IMUs could have the potential to become a method for gait analysis in horses.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Cruz (Antonio.Cruz@vetsuisse.unibe.ch).
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