Video-based Gait Analysis for Functional Evaluation of Healing Achilles Tendon in Rats


Video-based walking track systems have been developed for gait analysis in rat models. However, there is no previous study using video-based tracking systems to address the gait parameters to evaluate the recovery of Achilles tendon rupture models. This study conducted a comprehensive gait analysis using a video-based image processing system. Eighteen Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of three interventional conditions: sham surgery, Achilles tendon repair, and Achilles tendon defect. After surgery, all animals were evaluated using a video-based walking track system. The gait parameters and the Achilles functional index (AFI) were further analyzed. The ankle joint angles of the injury side at mid-stance and pre-swing were highly correlated with the AFI. However, lack of sensitivity was found for the AFI. Increased measurement sensitivity of the Achilles tendon healing condition was found in the ankle joint angle of the involved side at the pre-swing and the level of asymmetry of the hindlimb joint position and stance/swing time. The overall sensitivity of the ankle motion analysis was significantly higher than that of AFI. We conclude that the ankle motion analysis is a reliable, reproducible, and sensitive tool for Achilles tendon analysis in rats.

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Achilles functional index


PL: print length; N: control side; E: experimental side


TS: toe-spread length; N: control side; E: experimental side


IT: intermediary toe-spread length; N: control side; E: experimental side


Print length factor


Toe-spread factor


Intermediary toe-spread factor


Asymmetry index


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The authors are grateful for the financial support from China Medical University Beigang Hospital, Taiwan.

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Correspondence to Ming-Long Yeh.

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Associate Editor Thurmon E. Lockhart oversaw the review of this article.

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Liang, J., Chen, M., Hsieh, T. et al. Video-based Gait Analysis for Functional Evaluation of Healing Achilles Tendon in Rats. Ann Biomed Eng 40, 2532–2540 (2012) doi:10.1007/s10439-012-0619-z

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  • Achilles tendon repair
  • Functional index
  • Gait analysis
  • Ankle motion
  • Joint kinematics
  • Asymmetry index