Osteoarthritis and Cartilage

| 2023

Real-Time Musical Feedback From Pressure-Sensing Insoles For Asymmetric Gait Retraining

L. Cedin, C.B. Knowlton, M. A. Wimmer

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

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gait, feedback, sensor insoles


Patients with lower limb osteoarthritis (OA) often exhibit pathologic adaptations leading to an asymmetric gait pattern. Previous literature has suggested that asymmetric gait may overload and drive progression of OA in contralateral joints. However, modifying walking patterns can be challenging without continuous guidance from a therapist. Recent studies have used visual, sonic, or haptic feedback to allow users to perceive their own performance and adjust accordingly. While these studies showed that most healthy subjects and smaller portions of affected patients successfully altered targeted biomechanics while using the biofeedback systems, these effects were not retained. Subjects also reported an aversion to using the systems, which generally provided only negative, unchanging feedback. In this study, we took a holistic and personalized approach to gait retraining by using progressive, reward-based auditory feedback based on wireless pressure-sensing insoles. We hypothesized that this sonification of plantar pressure data would lead to a more symmetric weight-bearing, step timing and pressure under the toes during terminal stance between the affected and healthy legs.

Moticon's Summary

In this pilot study it was aimed to correct asymmetric gait, which for example occurs in patients with lower limb osteoarthritis, by providing musical feedback. Gait metrics were collected in real time using Moticon sensor insoles. Certain thresholds in total force and plantar pressure were used to modulate the musical feedback. This feedback type was then subsequently used in a training intervention designed to re align gait characteristics of the left and right leg. The training was performed by one subject who previously sustained an unilateral fracture at the right ankle. The authors found that after the training intervention gait characteristics of the injured leg more closely resembled those of the health leg.

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