Clinical Assessment and Rehabilitation using the Kinematic Measurement System

The KMS is being used extensively for testing and training athletes, but this was not the original reason for developing the system.  We wanted an accurate and flexible means of measuring gait velocity in patients and elderly subjects.  It was not long before innovative therapists began using combinations of contact mats and light gates to perform a wide range of tests of functional performance.  Of course we do have the gait analysis test which compares contact and flight times between the left and right legs, but with a little imagination, many lower extremity tests can be designed to assess and rehabilitate functional capacity.

Closed Chain Functional Capacity

Although isokinetic assessment of muscle strength has been a mainstay for the past 20 years most clinicians now realize the limited functional application of open chain, single joint, constant velocity testing to the real world challenges faced by patients.  This has resulted in the increased application of functional tests.  The KMS can be used to execute such tests and accurately record and document the results.  Similarly, the instant feedback provided by the system provides motivation for the patient during rehabilitation.  The possibilities are really only limited by the imagination of the clinician however here are few example applications:

Single leg hops

Using the contact mat and jump test option, the patient performs single or multiple jumps using the left or right leg only.  Starting off the mat, the patient jumps onto the mat, then attempts to jump vertically for maximum height.  Jump height and contact time are then compared between legs.

Left and Right Shuffle Speed

This can be performed incorporating reaction time or with the subject beginning in their own time. Select the First Step Quickness test from the menu. Three contact mats are required or one mat and two light gates. The subject shuffles to the left or right depending on the direction provided randomly by the KMS. Time to leave the start position as well as to reach the left or right mat is recorded and ratios between left and right presented.

Left and Right Cutting Speed

This is a very specific test for assessing an athlete’s readiness to return to play.  The test can be done with either contact mats or light gates set out in the following pattern:

Use the Multigate test option with a single gate setup for the distance between the center start gate and left and right target gates.  The patient runs down between the center gate and then cuts on command either left or right.  Compare the times to left or right to assess the degree of loss of function cutting off right or left legs.

Gait Analysis Test

The gait analysis test is just one of the many items included in the KMS software.  With just a single contact mat contact and flight times for both left and right legs can be measured with millisecond accuracy and ratios calculated for comparison between legs.  If the patient favors either leg due to injury or surgery, these differences will be apparent in the results and thus progress can be accurately tracked. To run the test first select from the menu:

The patient begins in their own time lightly jogging on the contact mat (a walking test using foot switches is also available) while the system measures flight and contact times and displays them in realtime:

At the completion of the test clicking on Save Trial produces the following report:

Gait Analysis
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2001 Time: 08:31 AM
Subject: Alice Jenkins Mass: 59 kg
Test duration (secs): 30

Right Left
Foot strike count 14 14
flight (ms) 761 757
contact (ms) 294 343
flight:contact 2.59 2.21

Left to Right Flight = 0.99
Left to Right Contact = 1.17

Balance Assessment and Rehabilitation

Previously it has been difficult to accurately assess progress with balance training and rehabilitation.  Innervations has added a new switch to our range based on a Wobble board.  Detailed information on time ON and OFF balance, number of times balance is lost, and the ON/OFF ratio.  One leg standing allows comparison of left and right legs.  Provide valuable feedback for therapist and patient.