Biomechanics in crutch assisted walking
Keywords:biomechanical measurements, crutches, articular loads, force measurements
Crutch-assisted walking is very common among patients with a temporary or permanent impairment affecting lower limb biomechanics. Correct crutches’ handling is the way to avoid undesired side effects in lower limbs recovery or, in chronic users, upper limbs joints diseases. Active exoskeletons for spinal cord injured patients are commonly crutch assisted. In such cases, in which upper limbs must be preserved, specific training in crutch use is mandatory. A walking test setup was prepared to monitor healthy volunteers during crunch use as a first step. Measurements were performed by using both a motion capture system and instrumented crutches measuring load distribution. In this paper, we present preliminary tests results based on different subjects - having a variety of anthropometrical characteristics - during walking with parallel or alternate crutches, the so-called three and two-points strategies. Tests results present inter and intra subject variabilities and, as a first goal, influencing factors affecting crutch loads have been identified. In the future we aim to address crutch use errors that could lead to delayed recovery or upper limbs suffering in patients, giving valuable information to physicians and therapists to improve user’s training.
Copyright (c) 2022 Francesco Crenna, Matteo Lancini, Marco Ghidelli, Giovanni B. Rossi, Marta Berardengo
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