Kinematic differences exist between transtibial amputee fallers and non-fallers during downwards step transitioning

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Vanicek, Natalie, Strike, Siobhan C and Polman, Remco (2014) Kinematic differences exist between transtibial amputee fallers and non-fallers during downwards step transitioning. Prosthetics and Orthotics International. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1746-1553 (on-line) 0309-3646 (print)


Stair negotiation is biomechanically more challenging than level gait. There are few biomechanical assessments of transtibial amputees descending stairs and none specifically related to falls. Stair descent may elicit more differences than level gait in amputees with and without a previous falls history. Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the gait kinematics of fallers and non-fallers during downwards step transitioning in transtibial amputees. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Six fallers and five non-fallers completed step transition trials on a three-step staircase at their self-selected pace. Results: Nine participants exhibited a clear preference to lead with the affected limb, while two had no preference. Four participants self-selected a step-to rather than a reciprocal stair descent strategy. The fallers who used a reciprocal strategy walked 44% more quickly than the non-fallers. To compensate for the lack of active plantar flexion of the prosthetic foot, exaggerated range of motion occurred proximally at the pelvis during swing. The step-to group was more reliant on the handrails than the reciprocal group and walked more slowly. Conclusion: As anticipated, the fallers walked faster than the non-fallers despite employing the more difficult ‘roll-over’ technique. Handrail use could help to improve dynamic control during downwards step transition

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1177/0309364614532867
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords biomechanics, gait analysis, gait, rehabilitation of amputees, rehabilitation
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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