Journal of Equine Veterinary Science December 2011 31 12 717-721
Movement analysis techniques allow objective and quantitative assessment of kinematic gait analysis. Consistent repeatability of the kinematic data is essential for such assessments. This study investigated whether the repeatability of a standardized Equinalysis Elite gait analysis system is sufficient to allow its use in clinical evaluation of equine lameness with reliable documentation of individual locomotion patterns. The extent to which examinations on different days affected the results when a standardized protocol was used was investigated. The repeatability of distal limb kinematics in nine sound horses over three successive days at one location was investigated. Measurements were performed at the examination area, for three motion cycles at the walk and trot, in each direction per day. Skin markers were placed on the lateral aspect of the coffin joint, forelimb fetlock joint, hindlimb fetlock joint, carpus, tarsus, elbow, and stifle, at clipped sites marked with a permanent marker. The inter-day repeatability of angular measurements of the carpus, tarsus, forelimb fetlock, and hindlimb fetlock joints was determined. A low degree of inter-day repeatability was found with statistically significant (P ≤ .05) differences between findings on different days, observed in the time-angle diagrams of left and right carpus, tarsus, forelimb fetlock, and hindlimb fetlock joints of all horses, at both walk and trot. The standardized Equinalysis Elite system for gait analysis of distal limb kinematics in the horse did not provide highly repeatable data in this setting.