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Volume 42 Number 2, March/April 2005
     Pages 175 — 182

Abstract - Temporal symmetries during gait initiation and termination in nondisabled ambulators and in people with unilateral transtibial limb loss

Steve C. Miff, PhD;1-2* Dudley S. Childress, PhD;1-3 Steven A. Gard, PhD;1-3 Margrit R. Meier, PhD;1 Andrew H. Hansen, PhD1

1Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; 2Jesse Brown Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, IL; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Abstract — This study investigated the temporal characteristics of gait initiation and gait termination. Ten nondisabled adult volunteers and ten people with unilateral transtibial limb loss performed starting and stopping for slow, normal, and fast walking speeds. We used kinematic and anthropomorphic data to determine the body center of mass (BCOM) position of each subject. The BCOM acceleration was derived by double-differentiating the position data. An averaged BCOM acceleration was calculated by a filtering of the instantaneous acceleration data at a cutoff frequency set by the cadence for elimination of the step-to-step variation. We used this averaged acceleration to calculate the time the volunteers needed to initiate and terminate gait. The results support the hypothesis that both nondisabled ambulators and the subjects with unilateral transtibial limb loss initiate and terminate gait in approximately two steps, regardless of the steady-state walking speed.
Key words: acceleration, deceleration, disabled persons, gait, human movement, initiation, kinematics, rehabilitation, temporal-spatial, termination.

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