Assessment of dynamic balance via measurement of lower extremities tortuosity

Moataz Eltoukhy, Christopher Kuenze, Hyung Pil Jun, Shihab Asfour, Francesco Travascio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tortuosity describes how twisted or how much curvature is present in an observed movement or path. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in segmental tortuosity between Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) reach directions. Fifteen healthy participants completed this study. Participants completed the modified three direction (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral) SEBT with three-dimensional motion analysis using an 8 camera BTS Smart 7000DX motion analysis system. The tortuosity of stance limb retro-reflective markers was then calculated and compared between reach directions using a 1 × 3 ANOVA with repeated measures, while the relationship between SEBT performance and tortuosity was established using Pearson product moment correlations. Anterior superior iliac spine tortuosity was significantly greater (p < 0.001) and lateral knee tortuosity was lesser (p = 0.018) in the anterior direction compared to the posteromedial and posterolateral directions. In addition, second metatarsal tortuosity was greater in the anterior reach direction when compared to posteromedial direction (p = 0.024). Tortuosity is a novel biomechanical measurement technique that provides an assessment of segmental movement during common dynamic tasks such as the SEBT. This enhanced level of detail compared to more global measures of joint kinematic may provide insight into compensatory movement strategies adopted following lower extremity joint injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
JournalSports Biomechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • Dynamic postural control
  • segmental motion
  • Star Excursion Balance Test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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