European Spine Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 750–754 | Cite as

Assessment of ground reaction force during scoliotic gait

  • Nachiappan Chockalingam
  • Peter H. Dangerfield
  • Aziz Rahmatalla
  • El -Nasri Ahmed
  • Tom Cochrane
Technical Note


Although the causes and progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) are still unclear, a recent extensive review has indicated a number of possible aetiological factors. Previous investigations, employing gait measurements, have indicated asymmetries in the ground reaction forces and suggest a relationship between these asymmetries, neurological dysfunction and spinal deformity. Using a strain-gauge force platform, the present study has examined the time-domain parameters of various components of the ground reaction force together with impulse. Symmetry indices (SI) between left and right sides have also been estimated. The results show that the patients with a left compensatory curve had a greater SI for a left-side impulse, whilst subjects with little or no compensation had a greater rightside impulse. This indicates that a possible gait compensation is occurring, so that the subjects compensate on the opposite pelvis/lower limb to that of the curve. While indicating the asymmetries between left and right, the results also serve to highlight the value of using kinetic parameters in developing the understanding of the pathogenesis and aetiology of scoliosis.


Ground reaction force Impulse Scoliosis Spine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Beck RJ, Andriacchi TP, Kuo K, Fermier RW, Galante JO (1981) Changes in the gait patterns of growing children. J Bone Joint Surg Am 63: 1452–1457PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Burwell RG, Dangerfield PH (2000) Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: hypotheses of causation. In: Burwell RG, Dangerfield PH, Lowe TG, Margulies JY (eds) Etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. State of the art reviews 14. Hanley and Belfus, USA, pp 319–334Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Burwell RG, Dangerfield PH, Lowe TG, Margulies JY (eds) (2000) Etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. State of the art reviews. Hanley and Belfus, USAGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Burwell RG, Kirby AS, Cole AA, Webb JK, Moulton A, Cavdar S (1997) Torsion in lower limb bones of children screened for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. In: Sevastik JA, Diab KM (eds) Research into spinal deformities, IOS Press, pp 57–61Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Giakas G, Baltzopoulos V (1997) Time and frequency domain analysis of ground reaction forces during walking: an investigation of variability and symmetry. Gait Posture 5: 189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Giakas G, Baltzopoulos V, Dangerfield PH, Dorgan JC, Dalmira S (1996) Comparison of gait patterns between healthy and scoliotic patients using time and frequency domain analysis of ground reaction forces. Spine 21: 2235–2242PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goh JH, Thambyah A, Bose K (1998) Effects of varying backpack loads on peak forces in the lumbosacral spine during walking. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 13: S26-S31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hamil J, Kuntzen KM (1995) Biomechanical basis of human movement. Lippincott, Philadelphia, pp 398–403Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hatze H (1986) Motion variability its definition, quantification and origin. J Mot Behav 18: 5–16PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Herzog W, Nigg BM, Read LJ, Olsson E (1989) Asymmetries in ground reaction force patterns in normal human gait. Med Sci Sports Exerc 21: 10–114Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    James PJ, Nicol AC, Hamblen DL (1994) A comparison of gait symmetry and hip movements in the assessment of patients with monarticular hip arthritis. Clin Biomech 9: 162–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Karlsson A, Frykberg G (2000) Correlations between force plate measures for assessment of balance. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 15: 365–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kim CM, Eng JJ (2003) Symmetry in vertical ground reaction force is accompanied by symmetry in temporal but not distance variables of gait in persons with stroke. Gait Posture 18: 23–28PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lemmers LG, Sanders MM, Cool JC, Grootenboer HJ (1991) The cause of axial rotation of the scoliotic spine. Clin Biomech 6: 179–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McCrory JL, White SC, Lifeso RM (1998) Vertical ground reaction forces: objective measures of gait following hip arthroplasty. Proceedings of North American Congress on Biomechanics, University of Waterloo, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Schizas CG, Kramers-de Quervain IA, Stussi E, Grob D (1998) Gait asymmetries in patients with idiopathic scoliosis using vertical force measurement only. Eur Spine J 7: 95–98PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stokes IAF (1997) Analysis of symmetry of vertebral body loading consequent of lateral spinal curvature. Spine 22: 2495–2503PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stokes IAF, Gardner-Morse M (1991) Analysis of the interaction between vertebral lateral deviation and axial rotation in scoliosis. J Biomech 24: 753–759PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wilk BE, White SC, Gilchrist LA (1998) Effect of an induced leg-length discrepancy on kinetic measures derived from vertical ground reaction forces during normal treadmill walking. Proceedings of North American Congress on Biomechanics, University of Waterloo, CanadaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nachiappan Chockalingam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter H. Dangerfield
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aziz Rahmatalla
    • 3
  • El -Nasri Ahmed
    • 3
  • Tom Cochrane
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HealthStaffordshire UniversityStoke on TrentUK
  2. 2.Departments of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Biology and Musculo Skeletal MedicineUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  3. 3.Hartshill Orthopaedic CentreNorth Staffordshire HospitalStoke on TrentUK

Personalised recommendations