ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a functional evaluation of prosthetic feet based on gait analysis. The aim is to analyse prosthetic feet behaviour under loads applied during gait in order to quantify user benefits for each foot. Ten traumatic amputees (six trans-tibial and four trans-femoral) were tested using their own prosthetic foot. An original protocol is presented to calculate the forefoot kinematics together with the overall body kinematics and ground reaction forces during gait. In this work, sagittal motion of the prosthetic ankle and the forefoot, time-distance parameters and ground reaction forces were examined. It is shown that an analysis of not only trans-tibial but also trans-femoral amputees provides an insight in the performance of prosthetic feet. Symmetry and prosthetic propulsive force were proved to be mainly dependant on amputation level. In contrast, the flexion of the prosthetic forefoot and several time-distance parameters are highly influenced by foot design. Correlations show influential of foot and ankle kinematics on other parameters. These results suggest that prosthetic foot efficiency depends simultaneously on foot design and gait style. The evaluation, proposed in this article, associated to clinical examination should help to achieve the best prosthetic foot match to a patient.
Prosthetics and Orthotics International 09/2006; 30(2):213-23. · 0.95 Impact Factor