Joint Center Location of the Equine Forelimb and Hindlimb
Parkins, Robert V.
MetadataShow full item record
Musculoskeletal models are a useful way of understanding how muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones work as a functional unit. In particular, the gait analysis of equine breeds has been well-studied because of their exceptional athleticism. We set out to develop one layer of a musculoskeletal model: the joint center locations of the equine fore and hindlimb. Our hypothesis was that, unlike previous studies, not all joints are ideal pin joints, but rather joints that have joint centers that slide or translate during a particular movement. We tested this hypothesis using two horse cadaver limbs, and monitored movement of these limbs in a motion analysis capture system that detected reflective markers placed on the limbs. Limbs were moved according to three motions: flexion-extension, abduction-adduction, and endorotationexorotation. Software programs located joint centers of each joint and found the full range of motion allowed by the joint. Any joint that exceeded 5° of motion in a plane not specified by the motion was considered a non-pin joint. After analysis, we were unable to support our hypothesis due to inaccuracies in our method, but were able to obtain relative joint center locations and rotational DOF permitted by each joint, which gives us the means to find an alternative method for determining if a joint is an ideal pin joint. Information gathered helps improve our understanding of the equine limb and will facilitate development of treatments for injuries and determine limitations of the limb structure.