Below-knee amputee gait with dynamic elastic response prosthetic feet: a pilot study

L Torburn, J Perry, E Ayyappa, S L Shanfield
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 1990, 27 (4): 369-84
The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate some of the new dynamic elastic response (DER) prosthetic feet compared to the SACH foot and determine if any demonstrated trends of producing the most optimum gait. We investigated the gait of five below-knee amputees while wearing four different DER feet (Flex-Foot, Carbon Copy II, SEATTLE, STEN) and a standard SACH foot. Each subject used each foot for 1 month prior to in-depth gait analysis and energy expenditure testing at the Pathokinesiology Laboratory. Minimal differences in either free or fast walking were noted between the five feet. The Flex-Foot resulted in significantly different gait kinematics at the "ankle" compared to the other four feet, however, this foot did not produce an increased velocity nor an improved energy cost. The results of this pilot study indicated that during free or fast-paced walking on level ground there were no clinically significant advantages of any one of the feet tested. Based on this pilot data, recommendations are made for future studies including appropriate sample size.

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