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Abstract

Objective—To compare hoof acceleration and ground reaction force (GRF) data among dirt, synthetic, and turf surfaces in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Animals—3 healthy Thoroughbred racehorses.

Procedures—Forelimb hoof accelerations and GRFs were measured with an accelerometer and a dynamometric horseshoe during trot and canter on dirt, synthetic, and turf track surfaces at a racecourse. Maxima, minima, temporal components, and a measure of vibration were extracted from the data. Acceleration and GRF variables were compared statistically among surfaces.

Results—The synthetic surface often had the lowest peak accelerations, mean vibration, and peak GRFs. Peak acceleration during hoof landing was significantly smaller for the synthetic surface (mean ± SE, 28.5g ± 2.9g) than for the turf surface (42.9g ± 3.8g). Hoof vibrations during hoof landing for the synthetic surface were < 70% of those for the dirt and turf surfaces. Peak GRF for the synthetic surface (11.5 ± 0.4 N/kg) was 83% and 71% of those for the dirt (13.8 ± 0.3 N/kg) and turf surfaces (16.1 ± 0.7 N/kg), respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The relatively low hoof accelerations, vibrations, and peak GRFs associated with the synthetic surface evaluated in the present study indicated that synthetic surfaces have potential for injury reduction in Thoroughbred racehorses. However, because of the unique material properties and different nature of individual dirt, synthetic, and turf racetrack surfaces, extending the results of this study to encompass all track surfaces should be done with caution.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the change in stiffness as evaluated by the dorsal bending moment of cervical vertebral specimens obtained from canine cadavers after internally stabilizing the vertebral motion unit (VMU) of C4 and C5 with a traditional pin-polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) fixation implant or a novel screw-bar–PMMA fixation implant.

Sample Population—12 vertebral column specimens (C3 through C6) obtained from canine cadavers.

Procedures—A dorsal bending moment was applied to the vertebral specimens before and after fixation of the VMU of C4 and C5 by use of a traditional pin-PMMA implant or a novel screw-bar–PMMA implant. Biomechanical data were collected and compared within a specimen (unaltered vs treated) and between treatment groups. Additionally, implant placement was evaluated after biomechanical testing to screen for penetration of the transverse foramen or vertebral canal by the pins or screws.

Results—Treated vertebral specimens were significantly stiffer than unaltered specimens. There was no significant difference in stiffness between vertebral specimen groups after treatment. None of the screws in the novel screw-bar–PMMA implant group penetrated the transverse foramen or vertebral canal, whereas there was mild to severe penetration for 22 of 24 (92%) pins in the traditional pin-PMMA implant group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Both fixation treatments altered the biomechanical properties of the cervical vertebral specimens as evaluated by the dorsal bending moment. There was reduced incidence of penetration of the transverse foramen or vertebral canal with the novel screw-bar–PMMA implant, compared with the incidence for the traditional pin-PMMA implant.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare the bending properties of pantarsal arthrodesis constructs involving either a commercially available medial arthrodesis plate (MAP1) or a specially designed second-generation plate (MAP2) implanted in cadaveric canine limbs and evaluate the effect of calcaneotibial screw (CTS) augmentation on the structural properties of both constructs.

Sample Population—5 pairs of canine hind limbs.

Procedures—Within pairs, specimens were stabilized with an MAP1 or MAP2 and loaded to 80% of body weight, with and without CTS augmentation. Compliance, angular deformation (AD), and plate strains were compared.

Results—Construct compliance and AD did not differ between plates. Maximum plate strain was lower in the MAP2 than in the MAP1 (difference of approx 30%). Augmentation with a CTS reduced compliance, AD, and strains in MAP1 constructs but had no effect on those variables in MAP2 constructs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because of lower peak strains, the MAP2 may be less susceptible to failure than the MAP1. Furthermore, CTS augmentation was unnecessary with MAP2s, which could minimize intra- and postoperative morbidity. Compared with what is known for dorsal plates, MAP2 constructs were associated with approximately 35% less AD. As a result of improved local stability, one might anticipate earlier fusion of the talocrural joint with an MAP2. In addition, plate peak strain was approximately 3.5 times lower in MAP2s than in dorsal plate constructs, which should result in greater fatigue resistance. The use of MAP2s may be a better alternative to both MAP1s and dorsal plates and could contribute to lower patient morbidity.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To test the hypotheses that kinematic data of the sagittal motion of canine hind limbs during walking obtained with a 2-dimensional (2-D) system correlate well with those obtained with a 3-dimensional (3-D) system and that the data obtained with the 2-D system are repeatable.

Animals—6 adult dogs with no evidence of lameness.

Procedures—Hind limb motions of 6 walking dogs were recorded via 2-D video and 3-D optoelectric systems simultaneously. Five valid trials were digitized, and 5 data sets (2-D 60 Hz, 3-D 180 Hz, 3-D sagittal 180 Hz, 3-D 60 Hz, and 3-D sagittal 60 Hz) of a complete gait cycle were created for each dog. In sagittal data sets, 3-D data were reduced to exclude coordinates for mediolateral orientation. Temporospatial parameters; angles of hip, stifle, and tarsal joints; and coefficients of variation of angular measurements of each dog were calculated for each data set. Accuracy of the 2-D analysis was determined by calculating mean absolute differences and estimating agreement between the 2-D and 3-D 180-Hz data sets.

Results—Values of joint angles and angular excursions measured with the 2-D system were repeatable and agreed with respective values obtained with the 3-D system. Reduction of the sampling rate had a greater impact on values of kinematic variables obtained with the 3-D system than did elimination of data on mediolateral orientation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Kinematic analysis using a 2-D video system provided accurate and repeatable data of the sagittal angular motion of canine hind limbs during walking.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To measure passive spinal movements induced during dorsoventral mobilization and evaluate effects of induced pain and spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) on passive vertebral mobility in standing horses.

Animals—10 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Baseline vertical displacements, applied force, stiffness, and frequency of the oscillations were measured during dorsoventral spinal mobilization at 5 thoracolumbar intervertebral sites. As a model for back pain, fixation pins were temporarily implanted into the dorsal spinous processes of adjacent vertebrae at 2 of the intervertebral sites. Vertebral variables were recorded again after pin placement and treadmill locomotion. In a random-ized crossover study, horses were allocated to control and treatment interventions, separated by a 7-day washout period.The SMT consisted of high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts applied to the 3 non–pin-placement sites. Control horses received no treatment.

Results—The amplitudes of vertical displacement increased from cranial to caudal in the thoracolumbar portion of the vertebral column. Pin implantation caused no immediate changes at adjacent intervertebral sites, but treadmill exercise caused reductions in most variables. The SMT induced a 15% increase in displacement and a 20% increase in applied force, compared with control measurements.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The passive vertical mobility of the trunk varied from cranial to caudal. At most sites, SMT increased the amplitudes of dorsoventral displacement and applied force, indicative of increased vertebral flexibility and increased tolerance to pressure in the thoracolumbar portion of the vertebral column.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To detect changes in joint kinematics of clinically sound dogs with or without radiographically detectable borderline hip dysplasia (HD).

Animals—20 Belgian Shepherd Dogs (Malinois; mean ± SD age, 2.75 ± 1.32 years) with no clinical signs of HD.

Procedures—Kinematic gait analysis was performed in Malinois walking on a treadmill. On the basis of results of radiographic examination for HD and in accordance with guidelines established by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, dogs were assigned to group 1 (no radiographic signs of HD; 8 dogs) or group 2 (borderline HD; 12 dogs). Ground reaction forces and weight distribution among limbs and differences between groups were evaluated. Maximal sagittal angle during the stance and swing phases, the time at which they were detected, and angle velocities were calculated for joints of the hind limbs.

Results—Ground reaction forces revealed no differences between groups. Dogs in group 1 had significant changes (earlier time for maximal flexion of the hip joint and less flexion and less range of motion of the stifle joint), compared with results for dogs in group 2. Maximal angle velocity of the stifle and tarsal joints was significantly lower during the swing phase in group 1 than in group 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study revealed that dogs with borderline HD had altered joint kinematics. Our data provide basic kinematic values for clinically sound and affected dogs and can be used to investigate the long-term effects for subclinical radiographic changes of the hip joints of dogs.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the intra- and interobserver repeatability of 2-dimensional (2-D) kinematic analysis of walk and sit-to-stand motions in dogs.

Animals—10 healthy adult Labrador Retrievers.

Procedures—10 dogs were filmed during walk and sit-to-stand motions. Five trials were recorded for each dog, 3 of which were digitized. Two observers manually marked 15 landmarks on each frame during the motions of interest for these 3 trials. Each observer repeated the procedure approximately 1 week later. The 2-D joint angles were calculated. Intra- and interobserver coefficients of multiple correlations (CMCs) were calculated for each joint angle–time history.

Results—Intraobserver repeatability, assessed as the mean CMCs of 12 joint angle measurements made for 10 dogs by 2 observers, was good or excellent in 23 of 24 (96%) mean CMCs of the joints measured. Interobserver variation, assessed by comparing CMCs of measurements made by 2 observers on 10 dogs on 2 days, was good or excellent in 161 of 240 (67%) CMCs of joints measured.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intraobserver repeatability of 2-D kinematic measurements made on digitized videotapes was excellent. Interobserver repeatability of these measurements was acceptable.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the effects of disk fenestration and ventral slot formation on vertebral motion unit (VMU) range of motion (ROM) and determine the effects of fenestration and ventral slot width on VMU ROM.

Sample Population—C5-C6 VMUs from 10 skeletally mature canine cadavers.

Procedures—Specimens were assigned to 2 groups (5 specimens/group). Surgery was performed in which width of a fenestration and a ventral slot was 33% (group 1) or 50% (group 2) the width of the vertebral body. Flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial torsion ROMs were measured during loading before surgery, after fenestration, and after ventral slot formation. Range of motion was compared within groups to determine effects of surgical procedure on stability and between groups to determine effects of width of fenestration and ventral slot on stability.

Results—For both groups, fenestration resulted in a significant increase in ROM during flexion-extension, compared with results for intact specimens. Ventral slot formation resulted in a significant increase in ROM during flexion-extension and lateral bending, compared with results for intact specimens. Ventral slot formation resulted in a significant increase in ROM only during flexion-extension, compared with results for fenestrated specimens. There were no significant differences in ROM of the intact, fenestrated, and ventral slot specimens between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of these results suggests that fenestration and ventral slot procedures each affect the biomechanics of the C5-C6 VMU. Width of a fenestration or ventral slot up to 50% of the width of C5-C6 may be clinically acceptable.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To develop and evaluate a marker cluster set for measuring sagittal and extrasagittal movement of joints in the distal portion of the forelimb in ponies.

Animals—4 ponies.

Procedures—5 infrared cameras were positioned on a concrete walkway in a frontal-sagittal arc and calibrated. Four segments were defined: hoof, middle phalanx, proximal phalanx, and metacarpus. Rigid clusters with 4 retroreflective markers were placed on each segment. A static trial was recorded with additional anatomic markers on the medial and lateral joint lines. Those anatomic markers were removed, and kinematic data were recorded at 240 Hz during walking. An ensemble mean was computed from the 4 ponies from 5 replicates of the walks. Joint kinematic variables were calculated by use of the calibrated anatomical system technique. The design and error dispersion of each marker were evaluated.

Results—Marker clusters were quasiplanar, but variation in orientation error was reduced because the mean radii were > 10 times the largest error dispersion values. Measurements of sagittal rotations of the distal interphalangeal, proximal interphalangeal, and metacarpophalangeal joints were similar to measurements obtained with bone-fixed triads, but larger discrepancies between the 2 methods were found for extrasagittal rotations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Development of noninvasive methods for quantifying data pertaining to 3-dimensional motion in horses is important for advancement of clinical analysis. The technique used in the study enabled identification of flexion-extension motions with an acceptable degree of accuracy. Appropriate correction algorithms and improvements to the technique may enable future quantification of extrasagittal motions.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the locomotor mechanics of the tölt in Icelandic horses.

Animals—10 adult Icelandic horses with no history of lameness.

Procedures—Force platform data were captured for 27 trials for horses ridden at a tölt in a lateral sequence single-foot gait at a steady speed from 0.89 to 5.98 m/s. Simultaneous kinematic data were obtained by tracking retroflective markers overlying the right fore- and hind limbs. These kinetic and kinematic data were combined to evaluate 3 mechanical approaches, duty factor, Froude number, and center of mass (COM) mechanics, and to evaluate the capacity to recover mechanical energies during tölting via inverse pendulum and spring-mass (bouncing) mechanics.

Results—Tölting horses had in-phase fluctuations of gravitational potential and kinetic energies of their COM and a capacity to recover mechanical energy through elastic recoil of spring elements in their limbs. These characteristics, along with Froude numbers exceeding values expected for the walk-run transition, are indicative of bouncing mechanics and, hence, most strongly ally tölting with running. Only the footfall pattern of a lateral sequence single-foot gait and low vertical excursions of the COM are more commonly associated with walking.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At the tölt, horses have unique mechanical characteristics that should be understood for veterinary care. Differences in interlimb coordination between tölting and trotting mask the overall similarities in most other aspects of their locomotor dynamics.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research