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| 2022

Three-Dimensional Lower-Limb Kinematics from Accelerometers and Gyroscopes with Simple and Minimal Functional Calibration Tasks: Validation on Asymptomatic Participants

The use of inertial measurement units (IMUs) to compute gait outputs, such as the 3D lower-limb kinematics is of huge potential, but no consensus on the procedures and algorithms exists. This study aimed at evaluating the validity of a 7-IMUs system against the optoelectronic system. Ten asymptomatic subjects were included. They wore IMUs on their feet, shanks, thighs and pelvis. The IMUs were embedded in clusters with reflective markers. Reference kinematics was computed from anatomical markers. Gait kinematics was obtained from accelerometer and gyroscope data after sensor orientation estimation and sensor-to-segment (S2S) calibration steps. The S2S calibration steps were also applied to the cluster data. IMU-based and cluster-based kinematics were compared to the reference through root mean square errors (RMSEs), centered RMSEs (after mean removal), correlation coefficients (CCs) and differences in amplitude. The mean RMSE and centered RMSE were, respectively, 7.5° and 4.0° for IMU-kinematics, and 7.9° and 3.8° for cluster-kinematics. Very good CCs were found in the sagittal plane for both IMUs and cluster-based kinematics at the hip, knee and ankle levels (CCs > 0.85). The overall mean amplitude difference was about 7°. These results reflected good accordance in our system with the reference, especially in the sagittal plane, but the presence of offsets requires caution for clinical use.


inertial measurement units, gait kinematics, lower limbs, tridimensional kinematics, clinical gait analysis


Lena Carcreff, Gabriel Payen, Gautier Grouvel, Fabien Massé, Stéphane Armand

Institution / Department

Kinesiology Laboratory, Geneva University Hospitals, University of Geneva, Geneva

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