Controlling horizontal deceleration during gait termination in transfemoral amputees: Measurements and simulations

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In this study we investigated how leading limb angles combined with active ankle moments of a sound ankle or passive stiffness of a prosthetic ankle, influence the center of mass (CoM) velocity during the single limb support phase in gait termination. Also, we studied how the trailing limb velocity influences the CoM velocity during this phase. We analyzed force plate data from a group of experienced transfermoral (TF) amputee subjects using a prosthetic limb, and the outcome from a two-dimensional mathematical forward dynamics model. We found that when leading with the sound limb, the subjects came almost to a full stop in the single limb support phase, without the use of the prosthetic limb. When leading with the prosthetic limb, the CoM deceleration was less in a relatively short single limb support phase, with a fast forward swing of the trailing sound limb. Slowing down the heavier trailing sound limb, compared to the prosthetic limb, results in a relatively larger braking force at the end of the swing phase. The simulations showed that only narrow ranges of leading limb angle and ankle moments could be used to achieve the same CoM velocities with the mathematical model as the average start and end velocities of the prosthetic limb user. We conclude that users of prosthetic limbs have a narrow range of options for the dynamics variables to achieve a target CoM velocity. The lack of active control in the passive prosthetic ankle prevents the TF amputee subjects from producing sufficient braking force when terminating gait with the prosthetic limb leading, forcing the subjects to use both limbs as a functional unit, in which the sound limb is mostly responsible for the gait termination. (C) 2012 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)583-590
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftMedical Engineering & Physics
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - mei-2013

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