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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2017, Article ID 5426031, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/5426031
Research Article

Validation of Ankle Strength Measurements by Means of a Hand-Held Dynamometer in Adult Healthy Subjects

1Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Roma, Italy
2Department of Economics and Management-Industrial Engineering (DEIM), University of Tuscia, Via del Paradiso 47, 01100 Viterbo, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Stefano Rossi; ti.sutinu@issor.onafets

Received 16 March 2017; Revised 13 June 2017; Accepted 28 June 2017; Published 27 July 2017

Academic Editor: Guiyun Tian

Copyright © 2017 Andrea Ancillao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Uniaxial Hand-Held Dynamometer (HHD) is a low-cost device widely adopted in clinical practice to measure muscle force. HHD measurements depend on operator’s ability and joint movements. The aim of the work is to validate the use of a commercial HHD in both dorsiflexion and plantarflexion ankle strength measurements quantifying the effects of HHD misplacements and unwanted foot’s movements on the measurements. We used an optoelectronic system and a multicomponent load cell to quantify the sources of error in the manual assessment of the ankle strength due to both the operator’s ability to hold still the HHD and the transversal components of the exerted force that are usually neglected in clinical routine. Results showed that foot’s movements and angular misplacements of HHD on sagittal and horizontal planes were relevant sources of inaccuracy on the strength assessment. Moreover, ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion force measurements presented an inaccuracy less than 2% and higher than 10%, respectively. In conclusion, the manual use of a uniaxial HHD is not recommended for the assessment of ankle plantarflexion strength; on the contrary, it can be allowed asking the operator to pay strong attention to the HHD positioning in ankle dorsiflexion strength measurements.