Biomechanics of below-knee amputee gait

J Biomech. 1988;21(5):361-7. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(88)90142-x.


Sagittal plane biomechanical and EMG analyses from eight below knee (B/K) amputee trials demonstrate considerably modified motor patterns from the residual muscles at the hip and knee. Five SACH fittings, two Uniaxial and one Gressinger prostheses were analysed. Moments of force and mechanical power were analysed on all eight trials and EMG profiles are reported for three of the amputees fitted with SACH prostheses. The findings can be summarized as follows: 1. All eight trials had similar internal moment of force patterns at the ankle. A dorsiflexor moment commenced at heel contact and continued for the first third of stance. The prostheses generated a plantarflexor moment for the balance of stance which increased in late stance to about 2/3 that seen in normals. 2. The two Uniaxial prostheses showed a 20% recovery of stored energy which was returned at push-off. The recovery by the Gressinger fitting was 30%. 3. For all but the Gressinger prosthesis the knee moment of force was negligible during early stance (when normals have an extensor moment), below normal in late stance and fairly normal during swing. The amputee wearing the Gressinger prosthesis had a normal but slightly reduced pattern of moments of force over the entire stride. 4. All eight trials had hyperactive hip extensors during early and mid-stance which resulted in above-normal energy generation by these concentrically contracting muscles. This compensation makes up for the loss of the major energy generation by the plantarflexors at push-off. 5. The moment of force and power patterns at the hip for all eight trials during late stance and swing were fairly normal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amputation Stumps*
  • Artificial Limbs*
  • Electromyography
  • Gait*
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Muscles / physiopathology