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Effects of soft tissue artefacts on computed segmental and stifle kinematics in canine motion analysis

Abstract

Skin marker-based motion analysis has been widely used to evaluate the functional performance of canine gait and posture. However, the interference of soft tissues between markers and the underlying bones (soft tissue artefacts, STAs) may lead to errors in kinematics measurements. Currently, no optimal marker attachment sites and cluster compositions are recommended for canine gait analysis. The current study aims to evaluate cluster-level STAs and the effects of cluster compositions on the computed stifle kinematics. Ten mixed-breed healthy dogs affixed with 19 retroreflective markers on the thigh and shank were enrolled. During isolated stifle passive extension, the marker trajectories were acquired with a motion capture system, and the skeletal poses were determined by integrating fluoroscopic and CT images of the bones. The cluster-level STAs were assessed, and clusters were paired to calculate the stifle kinematics. A selection of cluster compositions was useful for deriving accurate sagittal and frontal plane stifle kinematics with flexion angles below 50 per cent of the range of motion. The findings contribute to improved knowledge of canine STAs and their influence on motion measurements. The marker composition with the smallest error in describing joint kinematics is recommended for future applications and study in dogs during dynamic gait assessment.

  • canine kinematic analysis
  • soft tissue artefacts
  • marker-based motion capture
  • model-based tracking
  • stereophotogrammetry
  • marker cluster
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