Background: Observational gait analysis is frequently used by clinicians to subjectively assess straight walking but is not often used to examine turning. Interlimb comparisons of phase- specific turning biomechanics in people with unilateral lower limb amputation has not previously been documented. Methods: A retrospective examination of gait kinematics and kinetics from five participants with unilateral transtibial amputation was performed. Data were collected during 90° step and spin turns capturing three distinct turning steps. Gait metrics of interest included: total turn time, stance time, peak knee flexion angle during Pre-Swing and Initial Swing gait phases, peak hip flexion and extension, ground reaction impulse, and whole body angular momentum. Statistical comparisons were made based on turn type between sound and prosthetic limbs. Findings: During the three turn steps (approach, apex, depart), participants spent significantly more time (P < 0.01) on their sound limb compared to their prosthetic limb regardless of turn type. Additionally, the prosthetic limb hip and knee exhibited more flexion (P < 0.05) during the apex step of turns, and whole body angular momentum was higher when the sound limb was used during the apex step of a turn (P < 0.05). Interpretation: This descriptive study offers the first phase-specific quantification of turning biomechanics in people with lower limb amputation. Results indicate that people with unilateral transtibial amputation spend more time on and experience higher impulses through their sound compared to their prosthetic limb during 90° turns, and that the prosthetic limb is performing differently than the sound limb, potentially increasing risks of injury or falls.
|State||Published - Oct 2023|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
- Gait analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine