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Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Vol. 39 No. 1, January/February 2002
Pages 1 - 11

Transtibial energy-storage-and-return prosthetic devices: A review of energy concepts and a proposed nomenclature

Brian J. Hafner, BS; Joan E. Sanders, PhD; Joseph M. Czerniecki, MD; John Fergason, CPO

Department of Bioengineering, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Seattle VA Medical Center, 1660 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA


Abstract Prosthetic devices that can store and return energy during gait enhance the mobility and functionality of lower-limb amputees (1-4). The process of selecting and fitting such devices is complicated, partly because of confusing literature on the topic. Gait analysis methods for measuring energy characteristics are often incomplete, leading to inconsistencies in the energy classifications of different products. These inconsistencies are part of the reason for the lack of universally accurate terminology in the field. Inaccurate terminology perpetuates misunderstanding. In this paper, important prosthetic energy concepts and methods for measuring energy characteristics are reviewed. Then a technically accurate nomen-clature and a method of functional classification are proposed. This review and proposed classification scheme should help to alleviate confusion and should facilitate enhancement of the design, selection, and fitting of prosthetic limbs for amputee patients.

Key Words: gait analysis, lower-limb amputee, prosthetic feet.
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