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Med Eng Phys. 2000 Dec;22(10):703-10.

Principal component analysis of the power developed in the flexion/extension muscles of the hip in able-bodied gait.

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Research Center, Sainte-Justine Hospital, 3175 Côte-Ste-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1C5, Canada.


This study was undertaken to demonstrate how principal component analysis (PCA) can be used: (a) to detect the main functional structure of actions taken by hip extensors and flexors during two consecutive gait cycles of able-bodied subjects, and (b) to determine whether or not symmetrical behaviour exists between right and left hip muscle power activity. Twenty young, healthy male subjects walked along a 13 m path at a freely-chosen speed. Applying curve structure detection methods such as PCA to walking patterns can provide insight into the functional tasks accomplished by the lower limbs of able-bodied and disabled subjects. PCA was applied as a classification and curve structure detection method to hip sagittal muscle power calculated for the right and left lower limbs. Over 70% of the information provided by the first four principal components (PCs) was chosen for further biomechanical interpretation. PC1 for both right and left sides mainly described the action taken by the hip extensors/flexors corresponding to the vertical component of ground force on the respective limbs during mid-stance. Propulsion and limb preparation were identified as the second and third tasks attributed to right hip muscle power, while between limb co-ordination was recognised as the second and third functional tasks of the left hip extensors/flexors. Balance was identified as the fourth main functional contribution of the hip extensors/flexors at the right limb while for the left limb, these muscles were mainly responsible for preparing the limb to enter into new gait cycle. PCA was able to identify the four main functional contributions of hip sagittal muscle power during able-bodied gait. PCA was also able to examine the existence of functional asymmetry in gait by highlighting different task priorities at the hip level for the right and left lower limbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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