Technical Brief

An Ergonomic Testing System for the First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Stiffness

[+] Author and Article Information
Fatemeh Farhadi, Muhammad Faraz

University of Michigan and
Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China

Marabelle Heng

Podiatry Department,
Diabetes and Metabolism Centre,
Singapore General Hospital,
17 Third Hospital Avenue,
Singapore 168752

Shane Johnson

University of Michigan and
Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China;
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: Shane.johnson@sjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 12, 2017; final manuscript received May 8, 2018; published online June 21, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Zong-Ming Li.

J Biomech Eng 140(10), 104501 (Jun 21, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: BIO-17-1523; doi: 10.1115/1.4040248 History: Received November 12, 2017; Revised May 08, 2018

Osteoarthritis sufferers commonly have first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) problems in which articular surfaces are changed permanently due to fatigue. Therefore, medical devices for early diagnosis would increase the opportunity for prevention of disease progression. In previous studies on stiffness of the first MTPJ many details, although functionally of great importance, have not been fully considered including: design and size of the device, tribology consideration, and errors from device. Therefore, the motivation of our research was to enhance the device design by reducing the size of the device, and device design was enhanced by minimizing measurement errors through development of a new ergonomic left and right foot instrument located medial to the first MTPJ (instead of beneath the foot). The first MTPJ stiffness (N mm/kg radian) measurement was taken on 28 subjects with two replicates per subject by the same tester. The first MTPJ stiffness ranged from 3.49 to 14.42 N mm/kg radian with the mean (SD) value of 8.28 (3.15) N mm/kg radian for the left feet and 3.91 to 11.90 N mm/kg radian with the mean (SD) value of 7.65 (2.07) N mm/kg radian for the right feet. Reliability evaluation was measured using intraclass correlation coefficient and described an excellent reliability between two tests.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Measuring unit and controller unit: (1) connection cord for measuring unit, (2) switch, (3) 220 voltage cord, and (4) Arduino cord

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Different parts of the measuring unit: (a): (1) load cell, (2) lead screw for medial/lateral adjustment of the load cell, and (3) lead screw for distal/proximal adjustment of the load cell, (b): (4) potentiometer and (5) ruler, (c): (6) universal joint, (d): spring loaded joint for right/left foot adjustment

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Stiffness measurement: (a) top view in neutral position, (b) lateral view in neutral position, and (c) maximum dorsiflexion

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Histograms of average session stiffness values for right/left foot



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