Femorotibial joint angles of pigs; the influence of stride length and age
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The aim of this study was to determine whether there was a significant difference between the sagittal joint angles and the passive range of motion of the femorotibial joint of pigs with a short stride length compared to pigs with a long stride length. Also we wanted to determine whether there was such a difference between the joint angles for abduction and adduction and the passive range of motion around the craniocaudal axis of young pigs and older pigs. For this study, twelve pigs ranging from ten to twelve weeks of age were selected. To determine the stride length of these pigs, the animals were recorded while walking through a test hall. From these tapes, four frames were taken from each pig in order to calculate the average stride length of each pig. Also, radiographs were made with the femorotibial joint consecutively in neutral position, maximal extension, maximal flexion, maximal abduction and maximal adduction. Based on these radiographs, the maximum joint angles per animal were determined. Based on the stride length measured, the pigs were split into groups based on their stride length (either short or long). The total group of twelve pigs was also divided based on their age, either in a group ranging in age from ten to eleven weeks, or a group ranging from eleven to twelve weeks of age. Regarding the sagittal joint angles and range of motion, there were only numeric differences observed between the group with a short stride length and the group with a long stride length; however the averages of these did not differ significantly. The differences between the joint angles in the frontal plane and the corresponding range of motion of pigs from ten to eleven weeks of age and pigs of eleven to twelve weeks of age also did not differ significantly. The conclusion of this study is that there is no significant difference between the joint angles and range of motion of the femorotibial joint between pigs with a short stride length and pigs with a long stride length, nor between piglets from ten to eleven weeks of age and older piglets.