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Sensors 2016, 16(6), 925;

A Compact Forearm Crutch Based on Force Sensors for Aided Gait: Reliability and Validity

Department of Physiotherapy, University of Seville, Sevilla 41009, Spain
Department of Computer Technology and Architecture, University of Seville, Sevilla 41012, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2015)
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Frequently, patients who suffer injuries in some lower member require forearm crutches in order to partially unload weight-bearing. These lesions cause pain in lower limb unloading and their progression should be controlled objectively to avoid significant errors in accuracy and, consequently, complications and after effects in lesions. The design of a new and feasible tool that allows us to control and improve the accuracy of loads exerted on crutches during aided gait is necessary, so as to unburden the lower limbs. In this paper, we describe such a system based on a force sensor, which we have named the GCH System 2.0. Furthermore, we determine the validity and reliability of measurements obtained using this tool via a comparison with the validated AMTI (Advanced Mechanical Technology, Inc., Watertown, MA, USA) OR6-7-2000 Platform. An intra-class correlation coefficient demonstrated excellent agreement between the AMTI Platform and the GCH System. A regression line to determine the predictive ability of the GCH system towards the AMTI Platform was found, which obtained a precision of 99.3%. A detailed statistical analysis is presented for all the measurements and also segregated for several requested loads on the crutches (10%, 25% and 50% of body weight). Our results show that our system, designed for assessing loads exerted by patients on forearm crutches during assisted gait, provides valid and reliable measurements of loads. View Full-Text
Keywords: walking; crutches; instrumentation; validity; reliability walking; crutches; instrumentation; validity; reliability

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Chamorro-Moriana, G.; Sevillano, J.L.; Ridao-Fernández, C. A Compact Forearm Crutch Based on Force Sensors for Aided Gait: Reliability and Validity. Sensors 2016, 16, 925.

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