In this study, the occurrences of stabilizing and destabilizing external moments of force on a prosthetic knee during stance, in the first steps after gait initiation, in inexperienced users were investigated. Primary aim was to identify the differences in the external moments during gait initiation with the sound leg leading and the prosthetic leg leading. A prosthetic leg simulator device, with a flexible knee, was used to test able-bodied subject, with no walking aid experience. Inverse dynamics calculations were preformed to calculate the external moments. The subjects learned to control the prosthetic leg within 100 steps, without walking aids, evoking similar patterns of external moments of force during the steps after the gait initiation, either with their sound leg loading or prosthetic leg leading. Critical phases in which a sudden flexion of the knee can occur were found just after heelstrike and just before toe off, in which the external moment of force was close to the internal moment produced by a knee extension aiding spring in the opposite direction. (C) 2011 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.