Analysis of a vertical compliance prosthetic foot

Laura A Miller*, Dudley S. Childress

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Mechanical testing of the Re-Flex VSP(TM) Foot was conducted on the pylon alone and on the pylon and forefoot system. Values for spring and damping correspond well to values reported in the literature for spring and damping of physiological limbs. Pylon stiffness was 49.4 kN/m for a 600 N subject and 91.4 kN/m for an 800 N subject. The vertical stiffness of the pylon and forefoot together was 31.9 kN/m and 37.8 kN/m, respectively. Gait parameters of two persons with transtibial amputation who used vertically compliant feet for walking, jogging in place, and curb descent were investigated. Ground reaction forces, vertical trunk movement, event timing, and pylon compression were observed. The spring-loaded telescoping pylon was immobilized for half the trials. The trials were repeated the following week with the vertical compliance feature mobilized. Significant differences in vertical trunk motion and timing were found between the prosthetic limb and normal limb, as might be expected. Vertical compliance appeared to cause little change in gait parameters during normal walking. The largest differences appeared during the higher impact events such as fast walking and jogging in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of rehabilitation research and development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • amputation
  • artificial feet
  • gait analysis
  • prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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