Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Podiatric Clinical Biomechanics 1

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit is aimed at introducing the student to the understanding of human locomotion, with a special focus on the lower limbs. It will be composed of two parts: In the first part students will be introduced to a broad range of topics related to podiatric clinical biomechanics. These include normal mechanics and function of the foot and the gait cycle, together with an in-depth understanding of foot segment motion related to joint axes that produce single and triplanar motion.

Abnormal biomechanics will then be discussed in depth. The second part will integrate theoretical models with practical based demonstrations and practical work on the application of simple biomechanical measurement and analysis techniques for the objective assessment of human movement and its relationship to pathological presentation. Students will be introduced to basic foot pressure mapping and gait analysis techniques.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to introduce the student to the podiatric clinical biomechanics field, which is an essential component of the podiatry profession. This will be implemented through theoretical, demonstrational and practical sessions that have been carefully designed to complement each other in a holistic programme encompassing various traditional and contemporary assessment techniques.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Appreciate the basic principles of Newton's laws of motion as they relate to the study of human locomotor biomechanics;
- Discuss the development of human walking from a podiatric perspective;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the anatomy, axes of motion, range of motion and function of joints within the lower limb, particularly the foot, during gait;
- Discuss the gait cycle with respect to the functional objectives, joint motion, and muscle function of each phase;
- Demonstrate an understanding of shock attenuation during locomotion; and
- Describe the various methods that may be utilized for gait analysis, including foot pressure mapping, observational gait analysis, electromyography and motion capture.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Apply understanding of mechanical principles as they apply to human movement;
- Develop the ability to assess joint movement and to relate findings to pathological conditions;
- Apply simple biomechanical measurements and analysis techniques for the objective assessment of human movement;
- Develop observational skills relating to foot deformities; and
- Experiment with simple applications of data capture systems, including foot pressure mapping.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

Clinical Biomechanics of the lower extremities, edited by Ronald L Valmassy. Published: St Louis, Mosby, 1996.

Supplementary Readings:

Gait Analysis: An introduction. Michael W Whittle. 5th edition. Published Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann. 2012.
Perry. Gait Analysis. 2nd Edition. 2010. Slack Incorporated: Thorofare (USA).
Richards. Biomechanics in Clinic and Research. 2008. Churchill Livingstone: London.
Assessment of the lower limb. edited by Linda Merrimann, David R Tollafield. Published: Edinburgh; New York, Churchill Livingstone 1995.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Please note that a pass in all assessment components is obligatory for an overall pass mark to be awarded.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Practicum & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Case Study (Take Home) [See Add. Notes] SEM2 Yes 40%
Examination [See Add. Notes] (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 60%


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.