Inertial measurement units for the detection of the effects
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Leg length inequalities (LLI) are a common condition that can be associated with detrimental effects like low back pain and osteoarthritis. Inertial measurement units (IMUs) offer the chance to analyze daily activities outside a laboratory. Analyzing the kinematic effects of (simulated) LLI on the musculoskeletal apparatus using IMUs will show their potentiality to improve the comprehension of LLI.

20 healthy participants with simulated LLI of 0-4 cm were analyzed while walking with an inertial sensor system -MyoMotion. Statistical evaluation of the peak anatomical angles of the spine and legs were performed using repeated measurement (RM) ANOVA or their non-parametric test versions (Friedman test).

Results:
-- Lumbar lateral flexion and pelvic obliquity increased during the stance phase of the elongated leg and decreased during its swing phase.

-- The longer limb was functionally shortened by higher hip and knee flexion, higher hip adduction, dorsiflexion, and lower ankle adduction.

-- Finally, the shorter leg was lengthened by higher hip and knee extension, hip abduction, ankle plantarflexion, and decreased hip adduction.

In conclusion, different compensation methods between the various joints, movement planes, gait stages, and quantities of inequality were found to be different. Overall, the shorter leg is lengthened and, during walking, the longer leg is shortened to preserve the trunk's upright posture. In the identification of anatomical joint angles and for the study of the effects of LLI, IMUs have been helpful and reliable.

Source: https://josr-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13018-021-02212-z
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