SPIRA: an automatic system to support lower limb injury assessment

  • Carlos Bailon
  • Miguel Damas
  • Hector Pomares
  • Oresti Banos
Original Research


Lower limb injuries, especially those related to the knee joint, are some of the most common and severe injuries among sport practitioners. Consequently, a growing interest in the identification of subjects with high risk of injury has emerged during last years. One of the most commonly used injury risk factor is the measurement of joint angles during the execution of dynamic movements. To that end, techniques such as human motion capture and video analysis have been widely used. However, traditional procedures to measure joint angles present certain limitations, which makes this practice not practical in common clinical settings. This work presents SPIRA, a novel 2D video analysis system directed to support practitioners during the evaluation of joint angles in functional tests. The system employs an infrared camera to track retro-reflective markers attached to the patient’s body joints and provide a real-time measurement of the joint angles in a cost-and-time-effective way. The information gathered by the sensor is processed and managed through a computer application that guides the expert during the execution of the tests and expedites the analysis of the results. In order to show the potential of the SPIRA system, a case study has been conducted, performing the analysis with the both the proposed system and a gold-standard in 2D offline video analysis. The results (ICC(\(\rho\)) = 0.996) reveal a good agreement between both tools and prove the reliability of SPIRA.


Injury risk Lower limb Joint angles Marker tracking Computer vision Kinect 2D video analysis 



This work has been partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) Projects TIN2015-71873-R and TIN2015-67020-P together with the European Fund for Regional Development (FEDER). This work has also been partially supported by the UGR Research Starting Grant 2017, the FPU Spanish Grant FPU16/04376 and the Dutch UT-CTIT project HoliBehave.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Architecture and Computer Technology, CITIC-UGR Research CenterUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Telemedicine GroupUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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