The purpose of this study was to determine the errors in knee (tibiofemoral) and ankle joint complex (AJC; tibiocalcaneal) rotations caused by the skin movement artefact. Intracortical bone pins were inserted into the femur, tibia, and calcaneus of five subjects. Marker triads were attached to these pins, and additionally, six skin markers to the thigh, six to the shank, and three to the shoe. For each subject three walking trials were filmed with three synchronized LOCAM cameras (50 Hz). Flexion/extension, ab/adduction, and longitudinal rotation at the tibiofemoral joint as well as plantar-/dorsiflexion, ab/adduction, and in/eversion at the AJC were calculated from both skin and bone markers during the stance phase of walking. The results showed that the errors in knee rotations were mainly caused by the thigh markers. Knee flexion/extension was generally well reflected with the use of skin markers (mean difference: 2.1°). The agreement between skin and bone marker based kinematics for ab/adduction and internal/external knee rotation ranged from good to virtually no agreement, and in some subjects, the errors exceeded the actual motion. The errors in AJC rotations were mainly caused by the markers on the shoe/foot segment. The tibiocalcaneal rotations were generally well reflected with external markers. However, tibiocalcaneal rotations derived from external markers typically exceeded the true bone motions. The results suggest that (a) knee rotations other than flexion/extension may be affected with substantial errors when using external markers, and (b) tibiocalcaneal rotations are generally well reflected with external markers, but amplitudes are overestimated.
Walking; Gait; Tibiofemoral kinematics; Tibiocalcaneal motion; Knee joint; Ankle joint complex; Tibia; Femur; Calcaneus; Bone pin; Skin movement artefact