Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard A. Foulds

Second Advisor

Sergei Adamovich

Third Advisor

Bruno A. Mantilla

Abstract

Currently, various biomechanical assessments are used in clinical settings that offer diagnostic information about the studied joint. These assessments, however, are based on the judgment and experience of the therapist conducting the test and have a high degree of inter and intra rater variability, decreasing the strength of the observation. A set of instrumented measures consisting of a force/torque sensor and an angle sensor was created to quantitatively assess the mechanics of the lower extremity joints as a possible solution to the low repeatability of commonly used clinical tests.

It was shown through the use of instrumentation that the torques about the lower leg joint during passive movement could be accurately measured with a high degree of repeatability in a variety of conditions, and that the torque measured by the force sensor matches those calculated by the angle sensor using the inverse kinematic equation for a damped pendulum. By knowing the kinematic torques occurring during the movement, any extra torque generated by pathological involuntary muscle contraction can be accurately quantified for a better description of the biomechanics of the joint under passive movement conditions.

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