Research Projects

Foot Center of Pressure Manipulation During Gait

Mona Khoury, Alon Wolf

It has been shown in previous studies that footwear generated biomechanical manipulations can alter the trajectory of the center of pressure [COP] thereby altering the location of the ground reaction force and modifying moments and forces acting on proximal body segments. The purpose of this study was to quantify the correlation between the extent of the biomechanical manipulation and the location of the COP during gait. A novel biomechanical shoe-device allowing flexible positioning of two convex shaped elements that are attached to its sole was utilized. Twenty healthy male adults underwent successive in-shoe pressure measurements while walking with the novel shoe-device set at seven different element positions: Three medial, three lateral and one neutral position. At the neutral position, three more measurements were carried, each with a different biomechanical-element; having a different level of convexity. During gait with each configuration, COP data was collected and analyzed with respect to different stance sub-phases. The COP location significantly correlated with the configuration of the shoe-device. There was a strong correlation between the COP location and the shift of the elements in the coronal plane. Different augmentations of this correlation were observed at different sub-phases of the stance. Medial and lateral shifts of the biomechanical elements resulted in dissimilar offsets of the COP location. There was a significant correlation between the curvature of the elements and both the location and the fluctuations of the COP trajectory. Given that an accurate management of knee moments can be attained by controlled shift of the COP, a device that offers the benefit of the latter may be of tremendous advantage to patients suffering from abnormal knee loading.

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