Volume 50 Number 7, 2013
Pages 941 — 950
Abstract — Contrary to stance-phase dorsiflexion of conventional prosthetic feet, the microprocessor-controlled Proprio foot permits swing-phase dorsiflexion on stairs. The purpose of this study was to compare Symmetry in External Work (SEW) between a microprocessor-controlled foot and conventional prosthetic feet in two groups with unilateral transtibial amputation (Medicare Functional Classification Levels K-Level-2 and K-Level-3) during stair ascent and descent. Ten subjects were evaluated while wearing three conventional prosthetic feet—solid ankle cushion heel (SACH), stationary attachment flexible endoskeleton (SAFE), and Talux—and the Proprio foot using a study socket and were given a 10- to 14-day accommodation period with each foot. Ground reaction forces were collected using F-scan sensors during stair ascent and descent. The SEW between the intact and amputated limbs was calculated for each foot. During stair ascent, the Proprio foot resulted in a higher interlimb symmetry than conventional prosthetic feet, with significant differences between the Proprio and SACH/SAFE feet. The swing-phase dorsiflexion appeared to promote greater interlimb symmetry because it facilitated forward motion of the body, resulting in a heel-to-toe center of pressure trajectory. During stair descent, all feet had low symmetry without significant differences between feet. The movement strategy used when descending stairs, which is to roll over the edge of a step, had a greater influence on symmetry than the dorsiflexion features of prosthetic feet.
Key words: center of pressure, external work, foot dorsiflexion, microprocessor-controlled foot, Proprio foot, prosthetic feet comparison, stair ascent, stair descent, symmetry, Symmetry in External Work.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:55 PM