The sensitivity of joint kinematics and kinetics to marker placement during a change of direction task

Ciarán McFadden, Katherine Daniels, Siobhán Strike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The conventional gait model (CGM) refers to several closely related biomechanical models used in the objective analysis of human motion. Their use has become popular in the analysis of change of direction tasks to inform best practice in the prevention and rehabilitation of anterior cruciate ligament injury. As externally-placed markers define segment axes origins and orientations, kinematic and kinetic outputs from the CGM are sensitive to marker placement. The aim of this investigation was to quantify the sensitivity of lower extremity kinematics and knee moments to systematic differences in marker placement across the stance phase of a change of direction task. Systematic anterior/posterior displacements were applied to the lateral thigh, femoral epicondyle and tibia markers in software. One-dimensional statistical parametric mapping was used to determine the effect of marker placement across the entire stance phase of a 90° change of direction task. Marker placement error within previously reported inter-tester variability ranges caused significant differences in knee abduction moment, hip rotation angle, knee rotation angle, ankle abduction and rotation angle across various periods of stance. Discrete measures of these variables have been associated with increased frontal plane knee loading during change of direction, considered a key mechanism of anterior cruciate ligament injury. Systematic differences in marker placement may lead to incorrect group statistical inferences in such discrete measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109635
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Early online date30 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2020

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