Frontal plane roll-over analysis of prosthetic feet

Evert S van Hal, Carolin Curtze*, Klaas Postema, Juha M Hijmans, Egbert Otten

*Corresponding author for this work

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In prosthetic walking mediolateral balance is compromised due to the lack of active ankle control, by moments of force, in the prosthetic limb. Active control is reduced to the hip strategy, and passive mechanical stability depends on the curvature of the prosthetic foot under load. Mediolateral roll-over curvatures of prosthetic feet are largely unknown. In this study we determined the mediolateral roll-over characteristics of various prosthetic feet and foot-shoe combinations. Characteristics were determined by means of an inverted pendulum-like apparatus. The relationship between the centre of pressure (CoP) and the shank angle was measured and converted to roll-over shape and effective radius of curvature. Further, hysteresis (i.e., lagging in CoP displacement due to material compliance or slip) at vertical shank angle was determined from the hysteresis curve. Passive mechanical stability varied widely, though all measured foot-shoe combinations were relatively compliant. Mediolateral motion of the CoP ranged between 4 mm and 40 mm, thereby remaining well within each foot's physical width. Derived roll-over radii of curvature are also small, with an average of 102 mm. Hysteresis ranges between 20% and 115% of total CoP displacement and becomes more pronounced when adding a shoe. This may be due to slipping of the foot core in its cosmetic cover, or the foot in the shoe. Slip may be disadvantageous for balance control by limiting mediolateral travel of the CoP. It may therefore be clinically relevant to eliminate mediolateral slip in prosthetic foot design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110610
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Early online date3-Jul-2021
Publication statusPublished - 26-Aug-2021


  • Prosthetic foot curvature
  • Material testing
  • Mediolateral roll-over
  • Frontal
  • Coronal plane
  • LIMB
  • LEG

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