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A spatio-temporal and kinematic description of self-selected walking in adults with Achondroplasia

Sims, DT and Burden, A and Payton, C and Onambélé-Pearson, GL and Morse, CI (2020) A spatio-temporal and kinematic description of self-selected walking in adults with Achondroplasia. Gait and Posture, 80. pp. 391-396. ISSN 0966-6362

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Abstract

© 2020 Background: Achondroplasia is characterised by a shorter appendicular limb to torso ratio, compared to age matched individuals of average stature (controls). Despite the well documented shorter leg length of individuals with compared to controls, there are few complete descriptions of gait kinematics reported for the population. Aim: The aim of this study was to report the spatio-temporal and kinematic characteristics of self-selected walking (SSW) in a group with Achondroplasia (N = 10) and age matched group without Achondroplasia (controls, N = 17). Method: Whole body 3D analysis of both groups was conducted using a 14 camera VICON system. Spatio-temporal and kinematic variables were determined through a Plug-in-Gait model. SSW was obtained from an average of three trials equating to a total of ∼120 m walking. Results: The group with Achondroplasia were 23 % slower (P < 0.001), had a 29 % shorter stride length (P < 0.001) and a 13 % higher stride frequency (P < 0.001) compared to controls. There were no differences in time normalised temporal measures of left toe off (P = 0.365), right heel contact (P = 0.442) or the duration of double support (P = 0.588) between groups. A number of discrete joint kinematic differences existed between groups, resulting in the group with Achondroplasia having more ‘flexed’ lower limbs than controls throughout the gait cycle. Conclusion: Differences in absolute spatio-temporal variables between groups is likely due to the shorter leg length of the group with Achondroplasia, while their more flexed position of the lower limbs may facilitate toe-clearance during the swing phase.

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