Can stretch sensors measure knee range of motion in healthy adults?

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Abstract

Study aim: There are currently limited methods available to access dynamic knee range of motion (ROM) during free-living activities. This type of method would be valuable for monitoring and progressing knee rehabilitation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the functioning of stretch sensors for the measurement of knee ROM and to assess the level of the measurement error. Material and methods: Nine healthy participants were included in the study. Three stretch sensors (StretchSense™, Auckland, NZ) were attached on the participants’ right knees by Kinesiotape®. A Cybex dynamometer was used to standardise movement speed of the knee joint. Data was recorded through the StretchSense™ BLE application. Knee angles were obtained from the video clips recorded during the testing and were analysed by MaxTraq® 2D motion analysis software. The knee angles were then synchronised with the sensor capacitance through R programme. Results: Seven out of the nine participants presented with high coefficient of determination (R2) (>0.98) and low root mean square error (RMSE) (<5°) between the sensor capacitance and knee angle. Two participants did not confirm good relationship between capacitance and knee angle as they presented high RMSE (>5°). The equations generated from these 7 participants’ data were used individually to predict knee angles. Conclusions: The stretch sensors can be used to measure knee ROM in healthy adults during a passive, non-weight-bearing movement with a clinically acceptable level of error. Further research is needed to establish the validity and reliability of the methodology under different conditions before considered within a clinical setting.

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Biomedical Human Kinetics

The Journal of University of Physical Education, Warsaw

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