Background and aim: Inexpensive methods for characterizing lower-limb prosthetic gait allow clinicians to monitor gait quality. This study assessed an established method for estimating step length using a low-cost accelerometer to estimate distance walked in lower-limb prosthesis users and explore the use of subject-specific correction factors. Technique: A three-axis accelerometer was attached to participants using straps. Validity and test-retest reliability of step length was assessed in able-bodied individuals using a motion capture system. Validity of distance walked was assessed with lower-limb prosthesis users. A regression equation was developed for prosthesis users to estimate a correction factor that minimized error. Discussion: The system demonstrated excellent reliability and minimal mean error for both participant groups, but subject-specific correction factors did not provide substantial benefit. Estimate variability was high, suggesting the need for further refinement. Estimating distance walked and step length from low-cost accelerometers may be a valid, clinically accessible method for characterizing prosthetic gait. Clinical relevance The use of a low-cost accelerometer may provide valid means for estimating step length and distance walked of lower-limb prosthesis users in a clinical environment for monitoring patient outcomes.
- Gait analysis
- evaluation studies
- prosthetic feet
- rehabilitation of prostheses users
- study design
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)