Inter-joint coordination during walking in individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis
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Stroke leads to impairments in intra-limb and inter-joint coordination. Measures of inter-joint coordination have been shown to relate with walking function and fall risk post-stroke. Here, our objective was to compare inter-joint coordination in the paretic versus non-paretic lower limb of individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis. Twelve individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis (8 males and 4 females, 42 – 70 years old) and eight able-bodied controls were recruited for the study. Gait analysis was performed during walking on an instrumented treadmill at a self-selected speed. The average coefficient of correspondence (ACC) was used to quantify the consistency of inter-joint coordination during multiple gait cycles. ACCs can range from 0 to 1, with numbers closer to 1 describing perfect stride-to-stride consistency. ACC values for ankle-knee and knee-hip angle-angle data-plots were compared between the paretic versus non-paretic limb post-stroke, between non-paretic limb versus able-bodied controls, and before versus after a gait training intervention. Our results to date show lower ACCs for the paretic versus non-paretic legs in individuals post-stroke for both ankle-knee coordination (0.86 for paretic and 0.93 for non-paretic) and knee-hip coordination (0.87 for paretic and 0.95 for non-paretic). Additionally, ACCs for both the non-paretic and paretic limbs were lower than ACCs demonstrated by able-bodied individuals (>0.98). This study demonstrates deficits in inter-joint coordination in both paretic and non-paretic lower limbs of stroke survivors during walking and takes a step toward understanding the effects of stroke and gait rehabilitation on inter-joint coordination during gait.