Academic Appointments

All Publications

  • Muscle contributions to support and progression during single-limb stance in crouch gait JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS Steele, K. M., Seth, A., Hicks, J. L., Schwartz, M. S., Delp, S. L. 2010; 43 (11): 2099-2105


    Pathological movement patterns like crouch gait are characterized by abnormal kinematics and muscle activations that alter how muscles support the body weight during walking. Individual muscles are often the target of interventions to improve crouch gait, yet the roles of individual muscles during crouch gait remain unknown. The goal of this study was to examine how muscles contribute to mass center accelerations and joint angular accelerations during single-limb stance in crouch gait, and compare these contributions to unimpaired gait. Subject-specific dynamic simulations were created for ten children who walked in a mild crouch gait and had no previous surgeries. The simulations were analyzed to determine the acceleration of the mass center and angular accelerations of the hip, knee, and ankle generated by individual muscles. The results of this analysis indicate that children walking in crouch gait have less passive skeletal support of body weight and utilize substantially higher muscle forces to walk than unimpaired individuals. Crouch gait relies on the same muscles as unimpaired gait to accelerate the mass center upward, including the soleus, vasti, gastrocnemius, gluteus medius, rectus femoris, and gluteus maximus. However, during crouch gait, these muscles are active throughout single-limb stance, in contrast to the modulation of muscle forces seen during single-limb stance in an unimpaired gait. Subjects walking in crouch gait rely more on proximal muscles, including the gluteus medius and hamstrings, to accelerate the mass center forward during single-limb stance than subjects with an unimpaired gait.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.04.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281534000008

    View details for PubMedID 20493489

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2914221

  • Crouched postures reduce the capacity of muscles to extend the hip and knee during the single-limb stance phase of gait JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS Hicks, J. L., Schwartz, M. H., Arnold, A. S., Delp, S. L. 2008; 41 (5): 960-967


    Many children with cerebral palsy walk in a crouch gait that progressively worsens over time, decreasing walking efficiency and leading to joint degeneration. This study examined the effect of crouched postures on the capacity of muscles to extend the hip and knee joints and the joint flexions induced by gravity during the single-limb stance phase of gait. We first characterized representative mild, moderate, and severe crouch gait kinematics based on a large group of subjects with cerebral palsy (N=316). We then used a three-dimensional model of the musculoskeletal system and its associated equations of motion to determine the effect of these crouched gait postures on (1) the capacity of individual muscles to extend the hip and knee joints, which we defined as the angular accelerations of the joints, towards extension, that resulted from applying a 1N muscle force to the model, and (2) the angular acceleration of the joints induced by gravity. Our analysis showed that the capacities of almost all the major hip and knee extensors were markedly reduced in a crouched gait posture, with the exception of the hamstrings muscle group, whose extension capacity was maintained in a crouched posture. Crouch gait also increased the flexion accelerations induced by gravity at the hip and knee throughout single-limb stance. These findings help explain the increased energy requirements and progressive nature of crouch gait in patients with cerebral palsy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.01.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254943800005

    View details for PubMedID 18291404

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2443703

  • The effect of excessive tibial torsion on the capacity of muscles to extend the hip and knee during single-limb stance GAIT & POSTURE Hicks, J., Arnold, A., Anderson, F., Schwartz, M., Delp, S. 2007; 26 (4): 546-552


    Excessive tibial torsion, a rotational deformity about the long axis of the tibia, is common in patients with cerebral palsy who walk with a crouch gait. Previous research suggests that this deformity may contribute to crouch gait by reducing the capacity of soleus to extend the knee; however, the effects of excess external torsion on the capacity of other muscles to extend the stance limb during walking are unknown. A computer model of the musculoskeletal system was developed to simulate a range of tibial torsion deformities. A dynamic analysis was then performed to determine the effect of these deformities on the capacity of lower limb muscles to extend the hip and knee at body positions corresponding to the single-limb stance phase of a normal gait cycle. Analysis of the model confirmed that excessive external torsion reduces the extension capacity of soleus. In addition, our analysis revealed that several important muscles crossing the hip and knee are also adversely affected by excessive tibial torsion. With a tibial torsion deformity of 30 degrees , the capacities of soleus, posterior gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus to extend both the hip and knee were all reduced by over 10%. Since a tibial torsion deformity reduces the capacity of muscles to extend the hip and knee, it may be a significant contributor to crouch gait, especially when greater than 30 degrees from normal, and thus should be considered by clinicians when making treatment decisions.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.12.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250291100011

    View details for PubMedID 17229573

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2443695

  • Clinical applicability of using spherical fitting to find hip joint centers GAIT & POSTURE Hicks, J. L., Richards, J. G. 2005; 22 (2): 138-145


    The functional or sphere-fitting method has been proposed as an alternative to the traditional predictive approach to locating hip centers based on inter-ASIS breadth. In the functional approach, the movement of a marker on the thigh is fit to a sphere whose center coincides with the hip joint center. The first objective of this study was to determine the required parameters that allow an accurate application of a sphere-fitting method. The parameters examined in this study included: (1) the range of motion in flexion-extension and abduction-adduction, (2) the specific algorithm used to fit a sphere to the data, (3) the method of placing markers on the thigh, and (4) the type of motion used to generate points, either walking or a standing leg motion (SLM) trial. This objective was addressed with a computer simulation and clinical data. The second objective was to compare the accuracy of the functional method to the traditional predictive approach in a group of nine human subjects. The location of the hip center estimates from both methods were compared to an ultrasound-determined hip center standard, and linear errors and errors along each axis were compared. Results from the computer simulation indicated that an iterative algorithm is needed, with a method using the derivative yielding slightly more accurate results. Clinical results indicated that the functional method with a standing leg motion trial produced significantly smaller errors in hip joint center estimates (1.34 cm) versus the predictive method (2.16 cm). In addition, the range of error across hips was smaller for the functional method. If high joint center accuracy is needed or in populations characterized by obesity or pelvic asymmetries, the subject specificity and independence from anatomical landmarks characteristic of the functional method would likely provide more accurate results.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.08.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232198100007

    View details for PubMedID 16139749