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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare gait mechanics and limb loading in Icelandic horses tölting and trotting at equal speeds and estimate their impact on orthopedic health.

ANIMALS 12 orthopedically normal Icelandic horses.

PROCEDURES Kinetic and kinematic gait variables were simultaneously recorded as each horse was ridden at a tölt and trot on an instrumented treadmill at 3.4 m/s and 3.9 m/s. Differences between gaits were tested via 1-factor repeated-measures ANOVA.

RESULTS Horses had a higher stride rate and lower stride impulses at a tölt than at a trot. For forelimbs at a tölt, shorter relative stance duration resulted in higher peak vertical force (Fzpeak). Conversely, for hind limbs, longer relative stance duration resulted in lower Fzpeak. The higher head-neck position at a tölt versus trot caused no weight shift to the hind limbs, but a higher forehoof flight arc and lower proretraction movement were identified. Stance durations for forelimbs were briefer than for hind limbs at a tölt, and the inverse was observed at a trot. Minimal height of the horse's trunk at the point of Fzpeak of the respective limb suggested a spring-like mechanism for all limbs at a tölt. Hind limb measurements revealed no evidence of increased collection. Stride-to-stride limb timing varied more at a tölt than at a trot. At a trot, horses had brief or no suspension phases and a slightly 4-beated footfall rhythm was common. Post hoc energetic estimations revealed that tölting at the measured speeds was less advantageous than trotting.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE High forelimb action in Icelandic horses and higher head-neck position at a tölt were associated with more restricted limb proretraction, higher Fzpeak, and faster force onset than at a trot. The impact of these differences on orthopedic health needs to be investigated more in detail.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate the influence of 4 biomechanical parameters on canine cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL)-intact and -deficient stifle joints.

SAMPLE Data for computer simulations of a healthy 5-year-old 33-kg neutered male Golden Retriever in a previously developed 3-D rigid body pelvic limb computer model simulating the stance phase during walking.

PROCEDURES Canine stifle joint biomechanics were assessed when biomechanical parameters (CrCL stiffness, CrCL prestrain, body weight, and stifle joint friction coefficient) were altered in the pelvic limb computer simulation model. Parameters were incrementally altered from baseline values to determine the influence on stifle joint outcome measures (ligament loads, relative tibial translation, and relative tibial rotation). Stifle joint outcome measures were compared between CrCL-intact and -deficient stifle joints for the range of parameters evaluated.

RESULTS In the CrCL-intact stifle joint, ligament loads were most sensitive to CrCL prestrain. In the CrCL-deficient stifle joint, ligament loads were most sensitive to body weight. Relative tibial translation was most sensitive to body weight, whereas relative tibial rotation was most sensitive to CrCL prestrain.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, computer model sensitivity analyses predicted that CrCL prestrain and body weight influenced stifle joint biomechanics. Cranial cruciate ligament laxity may influence the likelihood of CrCL deficiency. Body weight could play an important role in management of dogs with a CrCL-deficient stifle joint.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To develop a model of hip joint synovitis on the basis of intra-articular injection of a sodium urate suspension in dogs and to characterize associated gait changes.

ANIMALS 6 healthy adult dogs.

PROCEDURES Each dog was sedated, and synovitis was induced by injection of 1 mL of a sodium urate suspension (20 mg/mL) into the right hip joint under ultrasonographic guidance. Observational and instrumented gait analyses to determine temporospatial, kinetic, and kinematic variables were performed prior to and 4, 8, and 24 hours after sedation and synovitis induction.

RESULTS Injection of a sodium urate suspension into the hip joint of healthy dogs resulted in lameness of the ipsilateral pelvic limb as determined by observational and instrumented gait analyses. For all dogs, lameness was clinically detectable within 1.5 to 2 hours after injection, reached its maximum intensity at 4 hours after injection, and had subsided by 24 hours after injection.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that injection of a sodium urate suspension into the hip joint of healthy dogs reliably induced synovitis and signs of pain and lameness in the ipsilateral pelvic limb that lasted 24 hours. This model can be used in conjunction with instrumented gait analysis to provide information on gait changes associated with hip joint disease and might be useful for evaluating the efficacy of analgesics or other interventions for the treatment of hip joint disease in dogs.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of screw position on strength and stiffness of a combination locking plate–rod construct in a synthetic feline femoral gap model.

SAMPLE 30 synthetic long-bone models derived from beechwood and balsa wood.

PROCEDURES 3 constructs (2 locking plate–rod constructs and 1 locking plate construct; 10 specimens/construct) were tested in a diaphyseal bridge plating configuration by use of 4-point bending and torsion. Variables included screw position (near the fracture gap and far from the fracture gap) and application of an intramedullary pin. Constructs were tested to failure in each loading mode to determine strength and stiffness. Failure was defined as plastic deformation of the plate or breakage of the bone model or plate. Strength, yield angle, and stiffness were compared by use of a Wilcoxon test.

RESULTS Placement of screws near the fracture gap did not increase bending or torsional stiffness in the locking plate–rod constructs, assuming the plate was placed on the tension side of the bone. Addition of an intramedullary pin resulted in a significant increase in bending strength of the construct. Screw positioning did not have a significant effect on any torsion variables.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this study suggested that, in the investigated plate-rod construct, screw insertion adjacent to the fracture lacked mechanical advantages over screw insertion at the plate ends. For surgeons attempting to minimize soft tissue dissection, the decision to make additional incisions for screw placement should be considered with even more caution.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To quantify the 3-D kinematics and collateral ligament strain of stifle joints in cadaveric canine limbs before and after cranial cruciate ligament transection followed by total knee replacement (TKR) involving various tibial plateau angles and spacer thicknesses.

Sample—6 hemi-pelvises collected from clinically normal nonchondrodystrophic dogs (weight range, 25 to 35 kg).

Procedures—Hemi-pelvises were mounted on a modified Oxford knee rig that allowed 6 degrees of freedom of the stifle joint but prevented mechanical movement of the hip and tarsal joints. Kinematics and collateral ligament strain were measured continuously while stifle joints were flexed. Data were again collected after cranial cruciate ligament transection and TKR with combinations of 3 plateau angles (0°, 4°, and 8°) and spacer thicknesses (5, 7, and 9 mm).

Results—Presurgical (ie, normal) stifle joint rotations were comparable to those previously documented for live dogs. After TKR, kinematics recorded for the 8°, 5-mm implant most closely resembled those of unaltered stifle joints. Decreasing the plateau angle and increasing spacer thickness altered stifle joint adduction, internal rotation, and medial translation. Medial collateral ligament strain was minimal in unaltered stifle joints and was unaffected by TKR. Lateral collateral ligament strain decreased with steeper plateau angles but returned to a presurgical level at the flattest plateau angle.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among the constructs tested, greatest normalization of canine stifle joint kinematics in vitro was achieved with the steepest plateau angle paired with the thinnest spacer. Furthermore, results indicated that strain to the collateral ligaments was not negatively affected by TKR.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine intralimb orientation changes with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) in hooves of horses at a walk and trot after induction of weight-bearing single forelimb lameness and to determine whether hoof orientations are similar to baseline values following perineural anesthesia.

Animals—6 clinically normal horses.

Procedures—3-D hoof orientations were determined with an IMU mounted on the right forelimb hoof during baseline conditions, during 3 grades of lameness (induced by application of pressure to the sole), and after perineural anesthesia. Linear acceleration profiles were used to segment the stride into hoof breakover, stance, initial swing, terminal swing, and total swing phases. Intralimb data comparisons were made for each stride segment. A repeated-measures mixed-model ANOVA was used for data analysis.

Results—Lameness resulted in significant changes in hoof orientation in all planes of rotation. A significant increase in external rotation and abduction and a significant decrease in sagittal plane rotation of the hoof were detected at hoof breakover during lameness conditions. For sagittal plane orientation data, the SDs determined following perineural anesthesia were higher than the SDs for baseline and lameness conditions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated the IMU could be used to detect 3-D hoof orientation changes following induction of mild lameness at a walk and trot. An increase in data variability for a sagittal orientation may be useful for assessment of local anesthesia for hooves. The IMU should be further evaluated for use in clinical evaluation of forelimb lameness in horses.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) on canine stifle joint biomechanics in a cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL)–deficient stifle joint by use of a 3-D computer model simulating the stance phase of gait and to compare biomechanics in TPLO-managed, CrCL-intact, and CrCL-deficient stifle joints.

Sample—Computer simulations of the pelvic limb of a Golden Retriever.

Procedures—A previously developed computer model of the canine pelvic limb was used to simulate TPLO stabilization to achieve a tibial plateau angle (TPA) of 5° (baseline value) in a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. Sensitivity analysis was conducted for tibial fragment rotation of 13° to −3°. Ligament loads, relative tibial translation, and relative tibial rotation were determined and compared with values for CrCL-intact and CrCL-deficient stifle joints.

Results—TPLO with a 5° TPA converted cranial tibial translation to caudal tibial translation and increased loads placed on the remaining stifle joint ligaments, compared with results for a CrCL-intact stifle joint. Lateral collateral ligament load was similar, medial collateral ligament load increased, and caudal cruciate ligament load decreased after TPLO, compared with loads for a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. Relative tibial rotation after TPLO was similar to that of a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. Stifle joint biomechanics were affected by TPLO fragment rotation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the model, stifle joint biomechanics were partially improved after TPLO, compared with CrCL-deficient stifle joint biomechanics, but TPLO did not fully restore CrCL-intact stifle joint biomechanics. Overrotation of the tibial fragment negatively influenced stifle joint biomechanics by increasing caudal tibial translation.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare the 3-D motion of the pelvic limb among clinically normal dogs and dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL)–deficient stifle joints following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) or lateral fabellar–tibial suture (LFS) stabilization by use of an inverse dynamics method.

Animals—6 clinically normal dogs and 19 dogs with CCL-deficient stifle joints that had undergone TPLO (n = 13) or LFS (6) stabilization at a mean of 4 and 8 years, respectively, prior to evaluation.

Procedures—For all dogs, an inverse dynamics method was used to describe the motion of the pelvic limbs in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes. Motion and energy patterns for the hip, stifle, and tibiotarsal (hock) joints in all 3 planes were compared among the 3 groups.

Results—Compared with corresponding variables for clinically normal dogs, the hip joint was more extended at the beginning of the stance phase in the sagittal plane for dogs that had a TPLO performed and the maximum power across the stifle joint in the frontal plane was greater for dogs that had an LFS procedure performed. Otherwise, variables in all planes were similar among the 3 groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gait characteristics of the pelvic limb did not differ between dogs that underwent TPLO and dogs that underwent an LFS procedure for CCL repair and were similar to those of clinically normal dogs. Both TPLO and LFS successfully provided long-term stabilization of CCL-deficient stifle joints of dogs with minimal alterations in gait.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To use an inverse dynamics method to describe the motion of the canine pelvic limb in 3 dimensions.

Animals—6 healthy adult dogs.

Procedures—For each dog, 16 anatomic and tracking markers were used to define the center of rotation for the pelvic limb joints and a kinematic model was created to describe the motion of the pelvic limb. Kinetic, kinematic, and morphometric data were combined so that an inverse dynamics method could be used to define angular displacement, joint moment, and power of the hip, stifle, and tibiotarsal (hock) joints in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes.

Results—Movement and energy patterns were described for the hip, stifle, and hock joints in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Knowledge of the 3-D movement of the pelvic limb can be used to better understand its motion, moment, and energy patterns in healthy dogs and provide a referent with which gaits of dogs with pelvic limb injuries before and after surgical repair or rehabilitation can be compared and characterized. This information can then be used to guide decisions regarding treatment options for dogs with pelvic limb injuries.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the influence of varying morphological parameters on canine stifle joint biomechanics by use of a 3-D rigid-body canine pelvic limb computer model that simulated an intact and cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL)–deficient stifle joint across the stance phase of gait at a walk.

Sample—Data from computer simulations.

Procedures—Computer model morphological parameters, including patellar ligament insertion location, tibial plateau angle (TPA), and femoral condyle diameter (FCD), were incrementally altered to determine their influence on outcome measures (ligament loads, relative tibial translation, and relative tibial rotation) during simulation of the stance phase of gait at a walk. Outcome measures were assessed for each scenario and compared between an intact and CrCL-deficient stifle joint with the sensitivity index (the percentage change in outcome measure divided by the percentage change in input parameter).

Results—In a CrCL-intact stifle joint, ligament loads were most sensitive to TPA. In a CrCL-deficient stifle joint, outcome measures were most sensitive to TPA with the exception of caudal cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament loads, which were sensitive to FCD and TPA. Relative tibial translation was sensitive to TPA and patellar ligament insertion location, whereas relative tibial rotation was most sensitive to TPA.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The computer model sensitivity analyses predicted that individual parameters, particularly TPA and FCD, influence stifle joint biomechanics. Therefore, tibial and femoral morphological parameters may affect the likelihood, prevention, and management of CrCL deficiency.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research