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Vol. 37 No. 4, July/August 2000

A device for applying static loads to prosthetic limbs of transtibial amputees during spiral CT examination

Mark T. Madsen, PhD; John Haller, PhD; Paul K. Commean, BEE; Michael W. Vannier, MD

Department of Radiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242; Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130

Abstract — This paper describes a device that allows the imaging of prosthetic legs under load conditions using spiral computerized tomography (CT). The device consists of a chair and a vertical footplate mounted on a 17.8×1.9 cm oak board that is 197 cm long. The load device can be easily positioned onto the CT bed. A subject sits in the chair and applies force by pushing the foot portion of the prosthesis against the footplate. The magnitude of the force is monitored by a digital force gauge coupled to the footplate. Because the load is borne by the hips and lower back of the subject against the chair, substantial forces can be generated and steadily maintained for the 20-45 s duration of the CT study. This device has been used successfully with 19 transtibial amputees, allowing the acquisition of spiral CT studies with half and full body weight loads.

Key words: loading device, prosthetic fit, spiral computerized tomography (CT), transtibial amputation.

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