Several full body musculoskeletal models have been developed for research applications and these models may potentially be developed into useful clinical tools to assess gait pathologies. Existing full-body musculoskeletal models treat the foot as a single segment and ignore the motions of the intrinsic joints of the foot. This assumption limits the use of such models in clinical cases with significant foot deformities. Therefore, a three-segment musculoskeletal model of the foot was developed to match the segmentation of a recently developed multi-segment kinematic foot model. All the muscles and ligaments of the foot spanning the modeled joints were included. Muscle pathways were adjusted with an optimization routine to minimize the difference between the muscle flexion–extension moment arms from the model and moment arms reported in literature. The model was driven by walking data from five normal pediatric subjects (aged 10.6±1.57 years) and muscle forces and activation levels required to produce joint motions were calculated using an inverse dynamic analysis approach. Due to the close proximity of markers on the foot, small marker placement error during motion data collection may lead to significant differences in musculoskeletal model outcomes. Therefore, an optimization routine was developed to enforce joint constraints, optimally scale each segment length and adjust marker positions. To evaluate the model outcomes, the muscle activation patterns during walking were compared with electromyography (EMG) activation patterns reported in the literature. Model- generated muscle activation patterns were observed to be similar to the EMG activation patterns.
Keywords: Musculoskeletal model; Foot model; Moment arm; Optimization