Simbios Talk by Allison Arnold, Stanford University, May 30, 2006

Update from a Neuromuscular DBP User: Muscle Contributions to Knee Extension During the Swing Phase of Normal Gait

Children with cerebral palsy often walk with a troublesome "crouched" gait.  These individuals fail to extend their knees at the end of the swing phase, resulting in a flexed supporting limb, an abnormallly short step length, and a slow walking speed.  Treatment of this gait abnormality is challenging, at present, because there is no theoretical basis for determining which of many possible factors limit knee extension in individual subjects.  The aim of our Neuromuscular DBP is to improve the planning of treatments for these individuals.

In this talk, I will summarize my ongoing efforts to take experimental data (from clinical collaborators) all the way through our subject-specific simulation workflow (using UW-Gait, the precursor to our OpenSim software), and to answer some clinically-relevant questions using these tools.  My current work to understand how muscles and other forces contribute to knee extension during normal gait, at a range of walking speeds, will be presented.