A basic study on quantitative evaluation of 3-dimensional foot contact with an inertial sensor for FES foot drop correction

In these days, FES is used to control ankle dorsiflexion of hemiplegic gait. Since not only dorsiflexion but also 3-dimensional foot contact isimportant for gait stability in hemiplegic gait, evaluation and control system of 3-dimensional foot contact with FES is needed to correct foot movement. In this study, the timing of initial contact and the timing when foot movement became stationary in the sagittal plane were detected, and the inclination angles in the sagittal and the frontal planes at these timings were used for evaluation. Using the inclination angles, 10 m walking of a hemiplegic subject under the 4 different gait conditions were quantitatively evaluated. The gait conditions were without FES, stimulation to the tibialis anterior, stimulation to the common peroneal nerve, and stimulation to both the tibialis anterior and the common peroneal nerve. Result of evaluation with the inclination angles showed that stimulation to the tibialis anterior could control foot contact appropriately in the sagittal plane, and stimulation to the common peroneal nerve was better to control foot inclination angle in the frontal plane. Inclination angle at the beginning of the stance phase indicated that FES system which used in clinical site commonly is not appropriate to control 3-dimensional foot contact. It was shown that inclination angle at the beginning of the stance phase was useful to evaluate 3-dimensional foot movements for FES foot drop correction.

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