Variability of vertical ground reaction forces collected with one and two force plates in healthy dogs

Stejskal M, Torres BT, Sandberg GS, Sapora JA, Dover RK, Budsberg SC. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2015 Sep 14; 28(5): 318-22.

OBJECTIVE:  To compare peak vertical force (PVF) and vertical impulse (VI) data collected with one and two force plates during the same collection time period in healthy dogs at a trot.

ANIMALS:  Seventeen healthy client-owned adult dogs.

METHODS: Vertical ground reaction force (GRF) data were collected in a crossover study design, with four sessions on two consecutive days, and then two weeks apart (days 1, 2, 15, and 16) using both one and two force plates collection methods. A repeated measures model analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences in force plate PVF, VI, and average time per trial (ATT) between days, weeks, and systems (1 plate versus 2 plates). Coefficients of variation for PVF and VI were also calculated separately by forelimbs and hindlimbs, plates, day, and week.

RESULTS: The time required to obtain a valid trial was significantly longer using a single force plate when compared with two force plates. Comparing GRF data for all dogs, significant differences in PVF data were found between one and two force plates, however, these differences were diminutive in absolute magnitude, and of unknown clinical importance. Examination of the coefficients of variation for PVF and VI during the different collection periods yielded similar results.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of two force plates decreased trial repetition and collection time. Vertical GRF data had a similar coefficient of variation with either one or two force plates collection techniques in healthy dogs.