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Accuracy and Optimization of Force Platform Gait Analysis in Labradors with Cranial Cruciate Disease Evaluated at a Walking Gait

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Objective

To determine the combination of ground reaction forces (GRFs) that best discriminates between lame and non-lame dogs. To compare the sensitivity of force platform gait analysis and visual observation at detecting gait abnormalities in Labradors after surgery for rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Animals

All dogs were adult Labrador Retrievers: 17 free of orthopedic and neurologic abnormalities, 100 with unilateral CCL rupture, and 131 studied 6 months after surgery for unilateral CCL injury, 15 with observable lameness. Procedure

Dogs were walked over a force platform with GRF recorded during the stance phase. Analytic properties of force platform gait analysis were calculated for several combinations of forces. The probability of visual observation detecting a gait abnormality was compared with that of force platform gait analysis. Results

We determined that a combination of peak vertical force (PVF) and falling slope were optimal for discriminating sound and lame Labradors. After surgery, many dogs (75%) with no observable lameness failed to achieve GRFs consistent with sound Labradors. Conclusion

A force platform is an accurate method of assessing lameness in Labradors with CCL rupture and is more sensitive than visual observation. Assessing lameness with a combination of GRFs is better than using univariate GRFs. Clinical Relevance

Therapies for stifle lameness can be accurately and objectively evaluated using 2 vertical ground reaction forces obtained from a force platform.
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Keywords: Labrador Retriever; cranial cruciate ligament rupture; dog; force platform; gait analysis; ground reaction forces; peak vertical force (PVF); vertical impulse (VI)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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