A wearable inertial system to assess the cervical spine mobility: comparison with an optoelectronic-based motion capture evaluation
In clinical settings, the cervical range of motion (ROM) is commonly used to assess cervical spine function. This study aimed at assessing cervical spine mobility based on head and thorax kinematics measured with a wearable inertial system (WS). Sequences of imposed active head movements (lateral bending, axial rotation and flexion-extension) were recorded in ten controls and 13 patients who had undergone an arthrodesis. Orientation of the head relative to the thorax was computed in terms of 3D helical angles and compared with the values obtained using an optoelectronic reference system (RS). Movement patterns from WS and RS showed excellent concurrent validity (CMC up to 1.00), but presented slight differences of bias (mean bias < 2.5 degrees) and dispersion (mean dispersion < 4.2 degrees). ROM obtained using WS also showed some differences compared to RS (mean difference < 5.7 degrees), within the range of those reported in literature. WS enabled the observation of the same significant differences between controls and patients as RS. Moreover, ROM from WS presented good test-retest repeatability (ICC between 0.63 and 0.99 and SEM < 6.2 degrees). In conclusion, WS can provide angles and ROM comparable to those obtained with RS and relevant for the cervical assessment after treatment. (C) 2013 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.