OBJECTIVE To determine the effects of altering location of right forelimb and pelvic sensors on kinematic data obtained with a commonly used inertial sensor system during gait analysis of trotting horses.
DESIGN Experimental study.
ANIMALS 12 horses with mild to moderate lameness of at least 1 hind limb, with or without lameness of the forelimbs.
PROCEDURES All horses were examined while trotting on a high-speed treadmill. The right forelimb sensor was tested at 3 anatomic locations in random order: dorsal midline and 2 cm medial and lateral to that midline. During another treadmill session, the pelvic sensor was tested at 5 anatomic locations in random order: dorsal midline, 2 cm to the right and left of midline, and 2 cm cranial and caudal to the tubera sacrale on the midline. Laterality of the pelvic sensor was analyzed in 2 ways: sensor toward the right or left and sensor toward or away from the lame or lamest hind limb. Maximum and minimum differences in head and pelvic motion and vector sum values were ranked and compared with values for the midline location by means of mixed-model ANOVA.
RESULTS Altering the location of the right forelimb sensor by 2 cm medially or laterally had no significant effect on forelimb or hind limb kinematics. However, location of the pelvic sensor had a significant effect on minimum difference in pelvic motion, regardless of whether the data were analyzed by laterality (right vs left) or toward versus away from the lame hind limb.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this study indicated that a 2-cm change in the location of the pelvic sensor during kinematic gait analysis had a significant effect on hind limb kinematic data of the system used. Therefore, placement of this sensor needs to be anatomically accurate.