Orthopedics and neurosciences are fields of medicine where the analysis of objective movement parameters is extremely important for clinical diagnosis. Moreover, as there are significant differences between static and dynamic parameters, there is a strong need of analyzing the anatomical structures under functional conditions. In clinical gait analysis the benefits of kinematical methods are undoubted.
In this paper we present a 4D (3D + time) measurement system capable of automatic location of selected anatomical structures by locating and tracing the structures' position and orientation in time. The presented system is designed to help a general practitioner in diagnosing selected lower limbs' dysfunctions (e.g. knee injuries) and also determine if a patient should be directed for further examination (e.g. x-ray or MRI).
The measurement system components are hardware and software. For the hardware part we adapt the laser triangulation method. In this way we can evaluate functional and dynamic movements in a contact-free, non-invasive way, without the use of potentially harmful radiation. Furthermore, opposite to marker-based video-tracking systems, no preparation time is required.
The software part consists of a data acquisition module, an image processing and point clouds (point cloud, set of points described by coordinates (x, y, z)) calculation module, a preliminary processing module, a feature-searching module and an external biomechanical module.
The paper briefly presents the modules mentioned above with the focus on the feature-searching module. Also we present some measurement and analysis results. These include: parameters maps, landmarks trajectories in time sequence and animation of a simplified model of lower limbs.