Effects of Prosthetic Foot Forefoot Flexibility on Oxygen Cost and Subjective Preference Rankings of Unilateral Transtibial Prosthesis UsersBy Klodd, Elizabeth; Hansen, Andrew; Fatone, Stefania; Edwards, Mark; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 543-552
Publication Date: 2010
Study assessed the effects of prosthetic foot forefoot flexibility on oxygen cost and subjective preference rankings of 13 unilateral transtibial prosthesis users. Participants had an average age of 53 years, their average height was 170 centimeters, and their average mass was 85 kilograms. Five experimental feet were fabricated for use in the study, of which F1 was the most flexible, F5 was the least flexible, and F3 was designed to conform to a biomimetic ankle-foot rollover shape. The feet were modeled after the Shape&Roll prosthetic foot but had different numbers of saw cuts within the forefoot members, allowing more or less flexibility during walking. Participants walked at the same comfortable, freely selected speed on the treadmill for 7 minutes with each foot while energy expenditure was measured. No significant difference was found in oxygen cost between the different feet. The order of use was also not significant. However, the preference ranking was significantly affected by the flexibility of the feet, with the most flexible foot, F1, ranking significantly poorer than F3 and F4. Results suggest that users may prefer prosthetic feet that match the flexibility of an intact ankle-foot system, even though no energetic benefit was detected at freely selected speeds. Implications for future research are discussed.
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )
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