Effects of prosthetic foot forefoot flexibility on oxygen cost and subjective preference rankings of unilateral transtibial prosthesis users

Elizabeth Klodd, Andrew Hansen*, Stefania Fatone, Mark Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The investigators conducted a double-blind randomized crossover study to determine the effects of prosthetic foot forefoot flexibility on oxygen cost and subjective preference rankings of 13 unilateral transtibial prosthesis users. Five experimental feet were fabricated for use in the study: F1, F2, F3, F4, and F5. F1 was most flexible, F5 was least flexible, and F3 was designed to conform to a biomimetic ankle-foot roll-over shape. The experimental feet were modeled after the Shape&Roll prosthetic foot (originally produced by Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois; now in public domain) but had different numbers of saw cuts within the forefoot members, allowing more or less flexibility during walking. Participants walked at the same comfortable, freely selected speed on the treadmill for 7 min with each foot while energy expenditure was measured. No significant difference was found in oxygen cost (mL O2/kg/m) between the different feet (p = 0.17), and the order of use was also not significant (p = 0.94). However, the preference ranking was significantly affected by the flexibility of the feet (p = 0.002), with the most flexible foot (F1) ranking significantly poorer than feet F3 (p = 0.003) and F4 (p =0.004). Users may prefer prosthetic feet that match the flexibilityof an intact ankle-foot system, even though we did not detect an energetic benefit at freely selected speeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of rehabilitation research and development
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Artificial leg
  • Artificial limb
  • Biomechanics
  • Energy expenditure
  • Foot
  • Leg prosthesis
  • Oxygen cost
  • Prosthesis
  • Trans-tibial
  • Treadmill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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