The purpose of this study was to examine the kinematic movements of the lower limbs involved in walking with a new hands-free crutch known as iWalk, manufactured by iWalkFree Inc. Recently, this new crutch has been developed to reduce underarm stress from conventional crutches, and improve walking efficiency. This study examined the movements with the iWalk by simulating a lower limb injury to the right lower limb in ten healthy female individuals in order to evaluate the kinematics of walking gait, specifically the hip joint angle of the nonweight bearing limb. The results of the study showed a significant increase in hip flexion angle when iWalk was used during the heel strike (145.1 ± 6.6°), mid support (149.2 ± 8.5°), and toe off (155.8 ± 10.7°) of the walking gait. Therefore, the design of the hands-free crutch has been found to alter the walking gait while in use. This increase of the hip joint angle may lead to an increase in the internal joint force and torque at the hip, which may increase the likelihood of developing a patellofemoral pain with continued use over an extended period. Future studies are warranted to examine the 3-D motion analysis and internal force and torque at the hip joint with the use of iWalk.
The Examination of Hip Joint Kinematics with iWalk in Walking Gait.
Undergraduate Review, 13, 65-72.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/undergrad_rev/vol13/iss1/10
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