Using Three-Dimensional Gait Data for Foot/Ankle Orthopaedic Surgery

Gwyneth de Vries1, Kevin Roy2, Victoria Chester*, 2
1 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
2 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

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© de Vries et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick, Peter Kelly Drive, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; E-mail:


We present the case of a forty year old male who sustained a torn carotid during strenuous physical activity. This was followed by a right hemispheric stroke due to a clot associated with the carotid. Upon recovery, the patient’s gait was characterized as hemiparetic with a stiff-knee pattern, a fixed flexion deformity of the toe flexors, and a hindfoot varus. Based on clinical exams and radiographs, the surgical treatment plan was established and consisted of correction of the forefoot deformities, possible hamstrings lengthening, and tendon transfer of the posterior tibial tendon to the dorsolateral foot. To aid in surgical planning, a three-dimensional gait analysis was conducted using a state-of-the-art motion capture system. Data from this analysis provided insight into the pathomechanics of the patient’s gait pattern. A forefoot driven hindfoot varus was evident from the presurgical data and the tendon transfer procedure was deemed unnecessary. A computer was used in the OR to provide surgeons with animations of the patient’s gait and graphical results as needed. A second gait analysis was conducted 6 weeks post surgery, shortly after cast removal. Post-surgical gait data showed improved foot segment orientation and position. Motion capture data provides clinicians with detailed information on the multisegment kinematics of foot motion during gait, before and during surgery. Further, treatment effectiveness can be evaluated by repeating gait analyses after recovery.

Keywords: Motion capture, gait, multisegment foot model, kinematics.