Running at submaximal speeds, the role of the intact and prosthetic limbs for trans-tibial amputees

Siobhan Strike, Michael S. Orendurff, Daniela Arcone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Downloads (Pure)


AbstractBackground: Dynamic Elastic Response prostheses are designed to absorb and return strain energy in running. Past research has focused on running prostheses with a single toe spring designed for high speeds. Research Question: To determine how runners with amputation modulate the ground reaction force of each limb to run at different speeds using a general-purpose dynamic prosthesis which has a heel spring. Methods: Overground running data were collected in 16 recreational runners (8 transtibial amputee using their own BladeXT prosthesis and 8 controls) using Vicon Nexus V.2.5 with Kistler force plates. Participants ran at self-selected running pace, 70% and 130% of that pace. Vertical, braking and propulsion peak ground reaction forces and impulses and vertical loading and decay rates were analysed between limbs at each speed (ANOVA) and their association with speed assessed (simple linear regression). Results: The vertical, braking forces and impulses and propulsive force were significantly less (p<0.05) on the prosthetic limb than controls at the faster speed, but there was no difference in the propulsive impulse. The intact limb did not evidence increased vertical force at any speed, but experienced increased braking (p<0.05) compared to both prosthetic limb and controls at the slow speed. For all limbs, braking and propulsive peak forces, decay rate, step length and step frequency were strongly (r>0.6) and significantly (p<0.05) associated with speed. On the prosthetic limb vertical impulse was strongly and significantly negatively associated with speed and control’s braking impulse was associated with speed. Significance: A leg-specific response was found at different speeds. On the prosthetic limb the technique was to brake less not propel more at higher speeds with reduced vertical drive. Running at self-selected speed could be used for fitness without inducing detrimental ground reaction forces on the intact limb or evoking asymmetry in step length and frequency. 
© 2018, Elsevier. The attached document (embargoed until 28/03/2019) is an author produced version of a paper published in Gait & Posture uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-332
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date26 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Cite this