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Title: The development and use of a gait analysis force plate walkway intended for use in the routine clinical context
Author: Barrance, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3447 2936
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1993
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It has been suggested that a long force plate walkway measuring vertical force only might be useful as a stand-alone tool for gait analysis in the routine clinical context. This project addressed the design and validation of such a walkway. The project achieved its objectives of developing a gait analysis walkway system from an incomplete prototype, calibrating it and testing it using volunteers in order to assess its usefulness in the routine clinical context. A pair of walkway plates were designed and built. Commercial transducers and signal conditioning equipment were chosen and installed. Fixings to attach the walkway to the floor were designed, built and installed. Software was written enabling the user to record, recall and output data, incorporating algorithms which calculate various parameters of gait automatically for each walk. The walkway was calibrated under static and dynamic loads and tested with normal subjects. It was subsequently assessed using volunteers with gait pathology: 16 amputees, 6 elderly joint replacement subjects and 4 others. The walkway was shown to be capable of producing reliable, repeatable data in which the intended gait parameters were clearly displayed. Some aspects of the data quality remained to be improved before the system would be fully ready for clinical application. No serious practical problems were shown except that, in common with other methods of gait analysis, the system could only produce statistically significant results with subjects who can complete an adequate number of traverses at an adequate speed range. Useful information was obtained on how to improve the hardware and software and protocol so that the technique could be optimised so that it could have the best possible chance of being clinically useful. It will be necessary to try out these improvements and to show whether the users can interpret the output to form useful conclusions. Recommendations for further work are given.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bioengineering & biomedical engineering