A team of researchers studied the value of inertial measurement units as tools for motion analysis in clinical practice, and in the development of personalized aids to improve a patient’s function. Because of a knowledge gap in the scientific literature about using inertial sensors in patients with amputations, the researchers’ conducted a narrative review to collect the current knowledge and stimulate the publication of further research.
Pubmed, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane Library publications were screened until November 2022 to identify eligible studies. Out of 444 results, 26 articles that focused on movement analysis, risk of falls, energy expenditure, and the development of sensor-integrated prostheses were selected. Gait analysis topics included joint angle calculation, detection of the onset of gait, acceleration and walking speed, step length, and variability and stability, symmetries, and regularity.
The results showed that the use of inertial sensors has the potential to improve the quality of life of patients with prostheses, increasing safety through the detection of gait alteration, enhancing the socio-occupational reintegration through the development of highly technologic and personalized prosthesis, and by monitoring the patients during daily life to plan a tailored rehabilitation program.
The open-access study, “Gait alteration in individual with limb loss: the role of inertial sensors,” was published in the journal Sensors.