Thomas Schmalz*, Malte Bellmann, Jan Sottong and Björn Altenburg
Department of Clinical Research & Services/Biomechanics, Otto Bock Healthcare, GermanyFulltext PDF
Until some years ago, running in lower limb amputees was basically restricted by the inadequate dimensions of available prosthetic components that usually did not allow for the adequate dynamics necessary for running at lower speeds. Newly developed prosthetic components for recreational sports have enabled a great number of lower limb amputees to participate in running as an endurance sport. The present paper compares biomechanical parameters representing the functional benefits that result from the use of these components. Nine Transfemoral (TF) and 5 Transtibial (TT) amputees were enrolled in the study. Measurements of running were conducted in a motion lab. During running, ground reaction forces and kinematic characteristics were measured both for the prosthetic and the sound side. The results were used to define potential advantages and limitations of lower limb amputee running depending on the level of amputation. The motion pattern of TT amputees is similar to that of non-amputees. Running of TF amputees is characterised by specific constraints based on the absence of knee stabilising muscles and the technical features of prosthetic components. For this reason, a specific compensatory motion pattern is necessary for runners with an amputation above the knee joint.
Schmalz T, Bellmann M, Sottong J, Altenburg B. Advantages and Limitations of New Sports Prosthetic Components Developed for Running in Lower Limb Amputees. Sports Med Rehabil J. 2017; 2(2): 1018.