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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether body lean angle could be predicted from circle radius and speed in horses during lunging and whether an increase in that angle would decrease the degree of movement symmetry (MS).

Animals—11 medium- to high-level dressage horses in competition training.

Procedures—Body lean angle, head MS, and trunk MS were quantified during trotting while horses were instrumented with a 5-sensor global positioning system–enhanced inertial sensor system and lunged on a soft surface. Speed and circle radius were varied and used to calculate predicted body lean angle. Agreement between observed and predicted values was assessed, and the association between lean angle and MS was determined via least squares linear regression.

Results—162 trials totaling 3,368 strides (mean, 21 strides/trial) representing trotting speeds of 1.5 to 4.7 m/s and circle radii of 1.8 to 11.2 m were conducted in both lunging directions. Differences between observed and predicted lean angles were small (mean ± SD difference, −1.2 ± 2.4°) but significantly greater for circling to the right versus left. Movement symmetry values had a larger spread for the head than for the pelvis, and values of all but 1 MS variable changed with body lean angle.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Body lean angle agreed well with predictions from gravitational and centripetal forces, but differences observed between lunging directions emphasize the need to investigate other factors that might influence this variable. For a fair comparison of MS between directions, body lean angle needs to be controlled for or corrected with the regression equations. Whether the regression equations need to be adapted for lame horses requires additional investigation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate forelimb hoof wall strains and shape changes in unshod horses undergoing regular moderate exercise on a treadmill at selected speeds and gaits.

Animals—6 horses of various body types.

Procedures—Each horse was exercised on a treadmill (walking, trotting, and cantering, with or without galloping at 12.5 m/s) 3 times a week for 4 consecutive weeks; duration of each exercise session ranged from 10 to 14 minutes. During the 4-week period, the proximal hoof circumference (PHC) and toe angle (TA) of each forelimb hoof were measured weekly with a flexible measuring tape and a hoof gauge, respectively. Forelimb hoof wall strains were measured bilaterally at the toe and each quarter (3 strain gauges) immediately before the first and after the last exercise session.

Results—Strain measurements revealed a consistent pattern of deformation of the hoof wall in both forelimbs at all gaits; strains increased during the stance phase of the stride. Strain values were dependent on site and gait. Compared with initial findings, mean TA increased significantly, whereas mean PHC did not, after the 4-week exercise period. A relationship between TA changes and hoof wall strains could not be established.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In unshod horses, forelimb hoof wall strains were affected by site and gait, but not by discrete changes in TA; PHC did not change in response to moderate regular exercise. The pattern of hoof loading was consistent despite significant changes in TA.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine mechanical properties of various prosthetic materials secured to cadaveric canine femurs via various methods and to compare results with those for isolated loops of prosthetic material.

Sample—80 femurs obtained from cadavers of skeletally mature large-breed dogs.

Procedures—10 femoral constructs in each of 8 groups (single circumfabellar loop of polyethylene cord, double loop of polyethylene tape secured via a bone anchor [BAPT], single or double circumfabellar loops of nylon leader material [CNL] or polyethylene tape [CPT], or single or double loops of polyethylene tape secured via a toggle placed through a bone tunnel [BTPT]) and 10 isolated loops of prosthetic material in each corresponding configuration were tested. Stress relaxation, creep, elongation, load at 3 mm of displacement, stiffness, and peak load at failure were determined.

Results—5 single CNL constructs failed before completion of testing. Double CNL and single circumfabellar polyethylene cord constructs had the lowest loads at 3 mm of displacement. Single and double CPT constructs had the highest stiffness. Double BTPT and CPT constructs had the highest peak loads at failure. Double BTPT, double CPT, and BAPT constructs were mechanically superior on the basis of lower creep and stress relaxation and higher stiffness and load at 3 mm of displacement versus other constructs. Stiffness of femoral constructs was 28% to 69% that of corresponding isolated prosthetic loops.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Double BTPT, double CPT, and BAPT constructs were mechanically superior to other constucts. Mechanical properties and methods of anchorage and securing of free ends of prostheses contributed to mechanical properties of constructs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess joint kinematics in dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints during walking up an incline or down a decline and over low obstacles and to compare findings with data for nonlame dogs.

Animals—10 dogs with osteoarthritis of the hip joints (mean ± SD age, 6.95 ± 3.17 years; mean body weight, 34.33 ± 13.58 kg) and 8 nonlame dogs (3.4 ± 2.0 years; 23.6 ± 4.6 kg).

Procedures—Reflective markers located on the limbs and high-speed cameras were used to record joint kinematics during walking up an incline or down a decline and over low obstacles. Maximal flexion, extension, and range of motion of the hip joints were calculated.

Results—Osteoarthritis of the hip joints reduced extension of both hip joints and flexion of the contralateral hind limb, compared with flexion of the lame hind limb, during walking down a decline. Walking up an incline resulted in decreased extension of the stifle joint in both hind limbs of osteoarthritic dogs; extension was significantly decreased for the lame hind limb. During walking over low obstacles, maximal flexion of the stifle joint was increased significantly for the contralateral hind limb. Maximal flexion was increased in both tarsal joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Osteoarthritis of the hip joints led to complex changes in the gait of dogs, which involved more joints than the affected hip joint alone. Each exercise had specific effects on joint kinematics that must be considered when planning a rehabilitation program.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify differences in intersegmental bending angles in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar portions of the vertebral column between the end positions during performance of 3 dynamic mobilization exercises in cervical lateral bending in horses.

Animals—8 nonlame horses.

Procedures—Skin-fixed markers on the head, cervical transverse processes (C1–C6) and spinous processes (T6, T8, T10, T16, L2, L6, S2, and S4) were tracked with a motion analysis system with the horses standing in a neutral position and in 3 lateral bending positions to the left and right sides during chin-to-girth, chin-to-hip, and chin-to-tarsus mobilization exercises. Intersegmental angles for the end positions in the various exercises performed to the left and right sides were compared.

Results—The largest changes in intersegmental angles were at C6, especially for the chin-to-hip and chin-to-tarsus mobilization exercises. These exercises were also associated with greater lateral bending from T6 to S2, compared with the chin-to-girth mobilization or neutral standing position. The angle at C1 revealed considerable bending in the chin-to-girth position but not in the 2 more caudal positions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The amount of bending in different parts of the cervical vertebral column differed among the dynamic mobilization exercises. As the horse's chin moved further caudally, bending in the caudal cervical and thoracolumbar regions increased, suggesting that the more caudal positions may be particularly effective for activating and strengthening the core musculature that is used to bend and stabilize the horse's back.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify gait characteristics during trotting on a treadmill in nonlame Labrador Retrievers presumed predisposed or not predisposed to cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD).

Animals—Clinically normal Labrador Retrievers presumed predisposed (n = 10) or not predisposed (7) to CCLD.

Procedures—The right hind limb of each dog was classified by use of a predictive score equation that combined tibial plateau angle and femoral anteversion angle as presumed predisposed (high score [> −1.5]) or not predisposed (low score [≤ −1.5]) to CCLD. Tarsal joint, stifle joint, and hip joint kinematics, net moments, and powers were computed.

Results—The stifle joint was held at a greater degree of flexion in limbs presumed predisposed to CCLD (130.9° vs 139.3°). More power was generated by muscles acting on the stifle joint in the early stance phase of limbs presumed to be predisposed to CCLD (2.93 vs 1.64 W/kg). The tarsal joint did not reach the same degree of extension in limbs presumed predisposed to CCLD, compared with that in limbs presumed not predisposed to CCLD (179.0° vs 161.0°). Velocity, stance time, vertical and craniocaudal forces, angular velocities, and net joint muscle moments did not differ between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gait mechanics of dogs with high (> −1.5) and low (≤ −1.5) tibial plateau angle and femoral anteversion angle scores were characterized on a treadmill, which may help in the identification of dogs predisposed to CCLD.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To validate an equine inertial measurement unit (IMU) system rigidly attached to a hoof against a 3-D optical kinematics system in horses during walking and trotting.

Animals—5 clinically normal horses.

Procedures—5 swing phases of the hooves of the right forelimb and hind limb were collected via both 3-D optical and IMU systems from 5 horses during walking and trotting. Linear and angular positions, velocities, and accelerations were compared between the 2 systems.

Results—Of the 55 variables compared between the 2 systems, 25 had high correlations (r > 0.8) and 18 had moderate correlations (r > 0.5). Root mean squared errors were lowest in the sagittal plane and orientation (1.1 to 4.4 cm over a range of 1.5 to 1.9 m in the cranial-caudal direction and 2.5° to 3.5° over a range of 88° to 110° rotating around the medial-lateral axis). There were more differences between the 2 systems during small changes in motion, such as in the medial-lateral and proximal-distal directions and in the angular measures around the cranial-caudal and proximal-distal axes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The equine IMU system may be appropriate for rigid attachment to a hoof of a horse and use in examination of linear and angular motion in the sagittal plane of the hoof during the swing phase while walking and trotting. Although promising in many respects, the IMU system cannot currently be considered clinically useful for lameness evaluation because of limitations in accuracy, attachment method, and lack of stance phase evaluation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the accuracy of artificial neural networks (ANNs) for use in predicting subjective diagnostic scores of lameness with variables determined from ground reaction force (GRF) data.

Animals—21 adult mixed-breed dogs.

Procedures—The left cranial cruciate ligament of each dog was transected to induce osteoarthritis of the stifle joint as part of another study. Lameness scores were assigned and GRF data were collected 2 times before and 5 times after ligament transection. Inputs and the output for each ANN were GRF variables and a lameness score, respectively. The ANNs were developed by use of data from 14 dogs and evaluated by use of data for the remaining 7 dogs (ie, dogs not used in model development).

Results—ANN models developed with 2 preferred input variables had an overall accuracy ranging from 96% to 99% for 2 data configurations (data configuration 1 contained patterns or observations for 7 dogs, whereas data configuration 2 contained patterns or observations for 7 other dogs). When additional variables were added to the models, the highest overall accuracy ranged from 97% to 100%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—ANNs provided a method for processing GRF data of dogs to accurately predict subjective diagnostic scores of lameness. Processing of GRF data via ANNs could result in a more precise evaluation of surgical and pharmacological intervention by detecting subtle lameness that could have been missed by visual analysis of GRF curves.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the analytic sensitivity of an inertial sensor system for detection of the more severely affected forelimb in horses with bilateral lameness.

Animals—18 adult horses with forelimb lameness.

Procedures—Horses were fitted with inertial sensors and evaluated for lameness with a stationary force plate as they were trotted in a straight line. Inertial sensor-derived measurements for vertical head movement asymmetry (HMA) and vector sum (VS) of maximum and minimum head height differences between right and left halves of the stride were used to predict differences in mean peak vertical force (PVF) as a percentage of body weight between the right and left forelimbs. Repeatability was compared by calculation of the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for each variable. Correct classification percentages for the lamer forelimb were determined by use of a stationary force plate as the standard.

Results—SEs of the prediction of difference in PVF between the right and left forelimbs from HMA and VS were 6.1% and 5.2%, respectively. Head movement asymmetry (ICC, 0.72) was less repeatable than PVF (ICC, 0.86) and VS (ICC, 0.84). Associations were positive and significant between HMA (R 2 = 0.73) and VS (R 2 = 0.81) and the difference in PVF between the right and left forelimbs. Correct classification percentages for HMA and VS for detecting the lamer forelimb were 83.3% and 77.8%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that an inertial sensor system to measure vertical asymmetry (HMA and VS) due to forelimb lameness in horses trotting in a straight line has adequate analytic sensitivity for clinical use. Additional studies are required to assess specificity of the system.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare results of single-point kinetic gait analysis (peak and impulse) with those of complete gait waveform analysis.

Animals—15 healthy adult mixed-breed dogs.

Procedures—Dogs were trotted across 2 force platforms (velocity, 1.7 to 2.1 m/s; acceleration and deceleration, 0.5 m/s2). Five valid trials were recorded on each testing day. Testing days 1 and 2 were separated by 1 week, as were days 3 and 4. Testing days 1 and 2 were separated from days 3 and 4 by 1 year. A paired t test was performed to evaluate interday and interyear differences for vertical and craniocaudal propulsion peak forces and impulses. Vertical and craniocaudal propulsion force-time waveforms were similarly compared by use of generalized indicator function analysis (GIFA).

Results—Vertical and craniocaudal propulsion peak forces and impulses did not differ significantly between days 1 and 2 or days 3 and 4. When data were compared between years, no significant differences were found for vertical impulse and craniocaudal propulsion peak force and impulse, but differences were detected for vertical peak force. The GIFA of the vertical and craniocaudal force-time waveforms identified significant interday and interyear differences. These results were identical for both hind limbs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that when comparing kinetic data overtime, additional insight may be gleaned from GIFA of the complete waveform, particularly when subtle waveform differences are present.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research