A kinematic model to assess spinal motion during walking

Regina J. Konz*, Stefania Fatone, Rebecca L. Stine, Aruna Ganju, Steven A. Gard, Stephen L. Ondra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


STUDY DESIGN AND OBJECTIVES. A 3-dimensional multi-segment kinematic spine model was developed for noninvasive analysis of spinal motion during walking. Preliminary data from able-bodied ambulators were collected and analyzed using the model. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. Neither the spine's role during walking nor the effect of surgical spinal stabilization on gait is fully understood. Typically, gait analysis models disregard the spine entirely or regard it as a single rigid structure. Data on regional spinal movements, in conjunction with lower limb data, associated with walking are scarce. METHODS. KinTrak software (Motion Analysis Corp., Santa Rosa, CA) was used to create a biomechanical model for analysis of 3-dimensional regional spinal movements. Measuring known angles from a mechanical model and comparing them to the calculated angles validated the kinematic model. Spine motion data were collected from 10 able-bodied adults walking at 5 self-selected speeds. These results were compared to data reported in the literature. RESULTS. The uniaxial angles measured on the mechanical model were within 5° of the calculated kinematic model angles, and the coupled angles were within 2°. Regional spine kinematics from able-bodied subjects calculated with this model compared well to data reported by other authors. CONCLUSIONS. A multi-segment kinematic spine model has been developed and validated for analysis of spinal motion during walking. By understanding the spine's role during ambulation and the cause-and-effect relationship between spine motion and lower limb motion, preoperative planning may be augmented to restore normal alignment and balance with minimal negative effects on walking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E898-E906
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Gait
  • Kinematic model
  • Spine motion
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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