The Functional Roles of Muscles, Passive Prostheses, and Powered Prostheses During Sloped Walking in People With a Transtibial Amputation
Journal of Biomechanical Engineering
Sloped walking is challenging for individuals with transtibial amputation (TTA) due to the functional loss of the ankle plantarflexors. Prostheses that actively generate ankle power may help to restore this lost function. The purpose of this study was to use musculoskeletal modeling and simulation to quantify the mechanical power delivered to body segments by passive and powered prostheses and the remaining muscles in the amputated and intact legs during sloped walking. We generated walking
... lations from experimental kinematic and kinetic data on slopes of 0, 63 deg and 66 deg in eight people with a TTA using powered and passive prostheses and eight nonamputees. Consistent with our hypothesis, the amputated leg hamstrings generated more power to both legs on uphill slopes in comparison with nonamputees, which may have implications for fatigue or overuse injuries. The amputated leg knee extensors delivered less power to the trunk on downhill slopes (effect size (ES) ! 1.35, p 0.02), which may be due to muscle weakness or socket instability. The power delivered to the trunk from the powered and passive prostheses was not significantly different (p > 0.05), However, using the powered prosthesis on uphill slopes reduced the contributions from the amputated leg hamstrings in all segments (ES ! 0.46, p 0.003), suggesting that added ankle power reduces the need for the hamstrings to compensate for lost ankle muscle function. Neither prosthesis replaced gastrocnemius function to absorb power from the trunk and deliver it to the leg on all slopes.