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Nathalie Alexander and Hermann Schwameder

While inclined walking is a frequent daily activity, muscle forces during this activity have rarely been examined. Musculoskeletal models are commonly used to estimate internal forces in healthy populations, but these require a priori validation. The aim of this study was to compare estimated muscle activity using a musculoskeletal model with measured EMG data during inclined walking. Ten healthy male participants walked at different inclinations of 0°, ± 6°, ± 12°, and ± 18° on a ramp equipped with 2 force plates. Kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity of the musculus (m.) biceps femoris, m. rectus femoris, m. vastus lateralis, m. tibialis anterior, and m. gastrocnemius lateralis were recorded. Agreement between estimated and measured muscle activity was determined via correlation coefficients, mean absolute errors, and trend analysis. Correlation coefficients between estimated and measured muscle activity for approximately 69% of the conditions were above 0.7. Mean absolute errors were rather high with only approximately 38% being ≤ 30%. Trend analysis revealed similar estimated and measured muscle activities for all muscles and tasks (uphill and downhill walking), except m. tibialis anterior during uphill walking. This model can be used for further analysis in similar groups of participants.

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Miriam Klous, Erich Müller and Hermann Schwameder

Limited data exists on knee biomechanics in alpine ski turns despite the high rate of injuries associated with this maneuver. The purpose of the current study was to compare knee joint loading between a carved and a skidded ski turn and between the inner and outer leg. Kinetic data were collected using Kistler mobile force plates. Kinematic data were collected with five synchronized, panning, tilting, and zooming cameras. Inertial properties of the segments were calculated using an extended version of the Yeadon model. Knee joint forces and moments were calculated using inverse dynamics analysis. The obtained results indicate that knee joint loading in carving is not consistently greater than knee joint loading in skidding. In addition, knee joint loading at the outer leg is not always greater than at the inner leg. Differentiation is required between forces and moments, the direction of the forces and moments, and the phase of the turn that is considered. Even though the authors believe that the analyzed turns are representative, results have to be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size.

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Gerda Strutzenberger, Adam Brazil, Timothy Exell, Hans von Lieres und Wilkau, John D. Davies, Steffen Willwacher, Johannes Funken, Ralf Müller, Kai Heinrich, Hermann Schwameder, Wolfgang Potthast and Gareth Irwin

Context: In sprint events, the first 2 steps are used to accelerate the center of mass horizontally and vertically. Amputee athletes cannot actively generate energy with their running-specific prosthesis. It is likely that sprint acceleration mechanics, including step asymmetry, are altered compared with able-bodied athletes. Purpose : To investigate spatiotemporal and kinetic variables of amputee compared with able-bodied sprinters. Methods: Kinematic and kinetic data of the first and second stance were collected from 15 able-bodied and 7 amputee sprinters (2 unilateral transfemoral, 4 unilateral transtibial, and 1 bilateral transtibial) with a motion-capture system (250 Hz) and 2 force plates (1000 Hz). In addition, bilateral asymmetry was quantified and compared between groups. Results: Compared with able-bodied athletes, amputee athletes demonstrated significantly lower performance values for 5- and 10-m times. Step length, step velocity, and step frequency were decreased and contact times increased. Peak horizontal force and relative change of horizontal velocity were decreased in both stances. Peak vertical force and relative change of vertical velocity were lower for the amputee than the able-bodied group during the first stance but significantly higher during the second stance. During the first stance, able-bodied and amputee sprinters displayed a similar orientation of the ground-reaction-force vector, which became more vertically orientated in the amputee group during second stance. Amputee sprinters showed significantly greater asymmetry magnitudes for vertical force kinetics compared with able-bodietd athletes. Conclusion: A running-specific prosthesis does not replicate the function of the biological limb well in the early acceleration phase.