Volume 49 Number 8, 2012
Pages 1239 — 1254
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.
Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:31 AM