Superimposition of ground reaction force on tibial-plateau supporting diagnostics and post-operative evaluations in high-tibial osteotomy. A novel methodology.

Miriana Ruggeri, H S Gill, Alberto Leardini, Stefano Zaffagnini, Alisdair MacLeod, Mauirizo Ortolani, Federica Faccia, Alberto Grassi, Giacomo Dal Fabbro, Stefano Durante, Claudio Belvedere

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Background: A fully personalised combination of Gait Analysis (GA), including Ground Reaction Force (GRF), and patient-specific knee joint morphology has not yet been reported. This can provide valuable biomechanical insight in normal and pathological conditions. Abnormal knee varus results in medial knee condylar hyper-compression and osteoarthritis, which can be prevented by restoring proper condylar load distribution via High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO). Research question: This study was aimed at reporting on an original methodology, merging GA, GRF and Computer-Tomography (CT) to depict a patient-specific representation of the knee mechanical condition during locomotion. It was hypothesised that HTO results in a lateralized pattern of GRF with respect to the tibial plateau. Methods: Four patients selected for HTO received clinical, radiological and instrumental examinations, pre- and post-operatively at 6-month follow-up. GA was performed during level walking and more demanding motor tasks using a 9-camera motion-capture system, combined with two force platforms, and an established protocol. Additional skin markers were positioned around the tibial-plateau rim. Weight-bearing CT scans of the knee were collected while still wearing these markers. Proximal tibial and marker morphological models were reconstructed. The markers from CT reconstruction were then registered to the corresponding trajectories as tracked by GA data. Resulting registration matrices were used to report GRF vectors on the plane best matching the tibial-plateau model and the intersection paths were calculated. Results and significance: The registration procedure was successfully executed, with a max registration error of about 3 mm. GRF intersection paths were found medially to the tibial plateau pre-op, and lateralized post-op, thus much closer to the knee centre, as expected after HTO. The exploitation of the present methodology offers personalised quantification of the original mechanical misalignment and of the effect of surgical correction which could enhance diagnostics and planning of HTO as well as other knee treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalGait & Posture
Early online date25 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially funded by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance , program “5 per mille.”.


  • Data registration
  • Gait analysis
  • Ground reaction force
  • High tibial osteotomy
  • Weight-bearing CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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