Assessing a low-cost accelerometer-based technique to estimate spatial gait parameters of lower-limb prosthesis users

Matthew J. Major*, Pooja Raghavan, Steven Gard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-648
Number of pages6
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Gait analysis
  • evaluation studies
  • gait
  • prosthetic feet
  • prosthetics
  • rehabilitation
  • rehabilitation of prostheses users
  • study design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation


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