A three dimensional inertial sensing system for measuring foot movements during gait is proposed and tested. It can form the basis for an automated tuning system for a two-channel implantable drop-foot stimulator. The foot orientation and position during the swing phase of gait can be reconstructed on the basis of three-dimensional measurement of acceleration and angular velocity, using initial and final conditions during mid-stance. The foot movements during gait of one stroke person using the implanted two-channel stimulator were evaluated for several combinations of stimulation parameters for both channels. The reconstructed foot movements during gait in this person indicated that the channel stimulating the deep peroneal nerve contributes mainly to dorsiflexion and provides some reduction of inversion seen without stimulation, while the channel activating the superficial peroneal nerve mainly provides additional reduction of inversion. This agrees with anatomical knowledge about the function of the muscles activated by both branches of the peroneal nerve. The inertial sensor method is expected to be useful for the clinical evaluation of foot movements during gait supported by the two-channel drop-foot stimulator. Furthermore, it is expected to be applicable for the automated balancing of the two stimulation channels to ensure optimal support of gait.
- Peroneal nerve stimulator
- Functional Electrical Stimulation
- Inertial Sensing