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Equine Vet J Suppl. 2001 Apr;(33):128-34.

Kinematic analysis of the symmetry of limb movements in lame trotting horses.

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UMR INRA-DGER Biomécanique du Cheval, CIRALE-IPC, RN 175 Goustranville, 14430 Dozulé, France.


This study was undertaken to describe the symmetry of movements of fore- and hindlimbs in horses suffering from various spontaneous lamenesses. Two groups of horses were studied: 13 clinically sound horses and 24 lame horses. Using a 3-dimensional (3-D) kinematic analysis system, movements of both sides of each horse were recorded simultaneously while trotting on a track. The differences in motion between left and right homologous joints of each horse were quantified using symmetry indices based on an intercorrelation method. Symmetry indices obtained for each lame horse were then compared with those of sound horses. This comparison showed that the most sensitive lameness indicators were the symmetry indices of the vertical displacement of the proximal markers of the limbs. Symmetry indices of each lame horse were also compared with those of the other lame horses, using correlation coefficients to determine whether or not various lamenesses generate similar alterations of the locomotion symmetry. Values of these coefficients allowed 2 types of lameness to be distinguished. In 21 lame horses, the largest alterations in the symmetry of vertical movements were observed for the proximal markers of the limbs, which may reflect the supporting component of these lamenesses. In contrast, the asymmetries in vertical movements were more pronounced for the distal markers in 3 horses (one stringhalt and 2 carpal injuries), which may reflect the swinging component of these lamenesses. This cross-correlation method can be implemented easily in a computer programme and may represent a first step in the development of an expert system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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