Quantitative functional evaluation of spine is highly desirable in posture and movement analysis. Given the complexity of the spine biomechanical system, very few studies outline the behaviour of the spine in posture and movement analysis. During a research lasting 25 years, a complete three‐dimensional (3D) parametric biomechanical skeleton model including a 3D full spine model based on the measurements of the positions of suitable body landmarks labelled by passive markers has been implemented. Around this model, a fully dedicated 3D opto‐electronic stereo‐photogrammetric system named Global Opto‐electronic Approach for Locomotion and Spine (GOALS) has been developed. Depending on different analysis purposes, the model can work at different stages of complexity. The model can integrate seamlessly data deriving from multiple measurement devices, such as 3D stereo‐photogrammetric systems, force platforms, surface electro‐myography and foot pressure maps. In addition to single‐trial analysis, the possibility to assess and to extract mean behaviours either for posture or for cyclical tasks (e.g. multiple strides in gait) has been included. The aim of this paper is to describe the current level of development of the GOALS system and its versatility as a clinical tool. To this purpose, examples of multi‐factorial quantitative functional descriptions of paradigmatic cases are presented.
Part of the book: Innovations in Spinal Deformities and Postural Disorders