Lower Extremity Kinematic Profile of Gait of Patients Post Ankle Fracture

Amit Mor 1 Avi Elbaz 1 Ganit Segal 1 Dana Bar 1 Benjamin Kish 2 Meir Nyska 2 Ezequiel Palmanovich 2
1Research, AposTherapy Research Group, Herzliya, Israel
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel

Background: This study aims to examine the differences in lower extremity gait kinematic characterization profile of patients recovering from ankle fracture in comparison to healthy control. In addition it set out to inquire whether the profile is different between fracture severity groups.

Methods: Forty eight patients participated in this prospective, case-controlled study. Twenty four patients recovering an ankle fracture injury and twenty four healthy matched control’s gait was examined using inertial measurement unit sensor system. The following gait parameters were evaluated: knee range of motion (ROM) during swing phase, maximum knee flexion angle during stance, thigh and calf ROM through a single gait cycle, and average stride duration.

Results: Student’s T-Test found statistically significant differences between patients with ankle fracture and control group for all parameters. Patients with ankle fracture had lower knee ROM during swing phase compared to control (average of 43° compared to 66.7°, respectively, p value< 0.001). Maximum knee flexion angle during stance was lower in patients with ankle fracture compared to control (average of 10.5° compared to 21.2°, respectively, p value< 0.001). Patients with ankle fracture had lower gait cycle thigh and calf ROM angles in comparison to control (averages of 30.8°, 52.9° in patients group compared to 42.5°,78.9° in control group, respectively, p value< 0.001). Patients with ankle fracture had longer average stride duration than control (average of 1.4 seconds compared to 1 second, respectively, p value< 0.001). Analysis of differences between severity groups did not reveal any statistically significant findings.

Conclusions: Gait kinematic characteristics vary between healthy people and patients recovering an ankle fracture injury during the short-term period post injury. The gait profile was not significantly different between fracture severity groups