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J Biomech. 2010 Apr 19;43(6):1220-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.11.036. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

A new method for gravity correction of dynamometer data and determining passive elastic moments at the joint.

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Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (MC 0219), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.


Moments measured by a dynamometer in biomechanics testing often include the gravitational moment and the passive elastic moment in addition to the moment caused by muscle contraction. Gravitational moments result from the weight of body segments and dynamometer attachment, whereas passive elastic moments are caused by the passive elastic deformation of tissues crossing the joint being assessed. Gravitational moments are a major potential source of error in dynamometer measurements and must be corrected for, a procedure often called gravity correction. While several approaches to gravity correction have been presented in the literature, they generally assume that the gravitational moment can be adequately modeled as a simple sine or cosine function. With this approach, a single passive data point may be used to specify the model, assuming that passive elastic moments are negligible at that point. A new method is presented here for the gravity correction of dynamometer data. Gravitational moment is represented using a generalized sinusoid, which is fit to passive data obtained over the entire joint range of motion. The model also explicitly accounts for the presence of passive elastic moments. The model was tested for cases of hip flexion-extension, knee flexion-extension, and ankle plantar flexion-dorsiflexion, and provided good fits in all cases.

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