Angular kinematics of gait

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Angular kinematics of gait

Hip:
• has three independent axes of motion  full freedom of movement in all three body planes
• during gait, most motion occurs in the sagittal and transverse planes
• flexed 20-30 degrees at heel contact – remains at this for about first 10% of cycle
• then rapidly extends to 10 degrees of extension at 50% of the cycle
• then flexes, reaching neutral position at about toe off
• maximum flexion is reached at half way through the swing phase (about 85% of gait cycle)

Knee:
• complex hinge joint with motion mostly in the sagittal plane (some transverse plane motion)
• almost fully extended at heel contact (180 degrees), then flexes at contact – flexes 15-20 degrees by end of contact phase of the gait cycle
• at beginning of midstance, knee then extends – reaches maximum extension at about heel off
• then flexes to about 40 degrees at toe off
• continues to flex to a maximum of 70 degrees at midswing

Ankle:
• usually at 90 degrees at heel contact – plantarflexes rapidly from heel contact to forefoot contact
• when foot is in contact with ground, tibia moves forward over leg (ankle dorsiflexes) – reaches a maximum at heel off
• at heel off as heel raises from ground, the ankle remains in this dorsiflexed position until about 50% of gait cycle
• at time of contralateral heel contact, ankle begins to plantarflex – reaches angle of 25 degrees at toe off
• after toe off, the ankle rapidly dorsiflexes (shortens limb for swing and toe clearance)

Subtalar joint:
• traditionally assumed it should be supinated 2-3 degrees at heel contact
• after initial contact, subtalar joint pronates (due to internal rotation of leg) 6-8 degrees, to be in a pronated position of about 4 degrees at the end of contact
• at the end of the contact phase, the leg begins to externally rotate, so the subtalar supinates
• the subtalar joint is assumed to be supinated about 4 degrees at toe off

First metatarsophalangeal joint:
• dorsiflexed about 20 degrees at heel contact, then plantarflexes to reach it neutral position at about 20% of the cycle
• dorsiflexes from heel off as foot rotates around hallux – reaches maximum of 50-65 degrees just prior to toe off
• remains slightly dorsiflexed during swing to assist toe off

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