ABSTRACT People with neurological disorders like Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) suffer associated functional gait problems. The symptoms and sign of these gait deficits are different between subjects and even within a subject at different stage of the disease. Identifying these gait related abnormalities helps in the treatment planning and rehabilitation process. The current gait assessment process does not provide very specific information within the seven gait phases. The objective of this study is to investigate the possible application of granular computing to quantify gait parameters within the seven gait phases. In this process we applied fuzzy-granular computing on the vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) and surface electromyography (sEMG) data to obtain respective characteristic values for each gait phase. A fuzzy similarity (FS) measure is used to compare patient values with age and sex matched control able-bodied group. We specifically applied and tested this approach on 10 patients (4 Cerebral Palsy and 6 Multiple Sclerosis) to identify possible gait abnormalities. Different FS values for VGRF for right and left leg is observed. The VGRF analysis shows smaller FS values during the swing phase in CP and MS subjects that are evidence of associated stability problem. Similarly, FS values for muscle activates of the four-selected muscle display a broad range of values due to difference between subjects. Degraded FS values for different muscles at different stage of the gait cycle are reported. Smaller FS values are sign of abnormal activity of the respective muscles. This approach provides individual centered and very specific information within the gait phases that can be employed for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation process.
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Bogale, M. , Yu, H. , Sarkodie-Gyan, T. and Abdelgawad, A. (2012) Characterization and quantification of gait deficits within gait phases using fuzzy-granular computing. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 5, 720-728. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2012.512090.
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