Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 49 Number 8, 2012
   Pages 1239 — 1254

Abstract — Can vibratory feedback be used to improve postural stability in persons with transtibial limb loss?

David Rusaw, PhD;1–2* Kerstin Hagberg, PhD;1 Lee Nolan, PhD;2–3 Nerrolyn Ramstrand, PhD2

1Institute for Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 2Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health Sciences, J??nk??ping University, J??nk??ping, Sweden; 3Laboratory for Biomechanics and Motor Control, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet and GIH, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract–The use of vibration as a feedback modality to convey motion of the body has been shown to improve measures of postural stability in some groups of patients. Because individuals using transtibial prostheses lack sensation distal to the amputation, vibratory feedback could possibly be used to improve their postural stability. The current investigation provided transtibial prosthesis users (n = 24, mean age 48 yr) with vibratory feedback proportional to the signal received from force transducers located under the prosthetic foot. Postural stability was evaluated by measuring center of pressure (CoP) movement, limits of stability, and rhythmic weight shift while participants stood on a force platform capable of rotations in the pitch plane (toes up/toes down). The results showed that the vibratory feedback increased the mediolateral displacement amplitude of CoP in standing balance and reduced the response time to rapid voluntary movements of the center of gravity. The results suggest that the use of vibratory feedback in an experimental setting leads to improvements in fast open-loop mechanisms of postural control in transtibial prosthesis users.

Key words: amputation, balance, center of pressure, feedback, limits of stability, postural stability, prosthesis, rhythmic weight shift, transtibial, vibration.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:31 AM

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