Experimental Demonstration of the Lower Leg Trajectory Error Framework Using Physiological Data as Inputs

Kathryn M. Olesnavage, Victor Prost, William Brett Johnson, Matthew J. Major, Amos G. Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While many studies have attempted to characterize the mechanical behavior of passive prosthetic feet to understand their influence on amputee gait, the relationship between mechanical design and biomechanical performance has not yet been fully articulated from a fundamental physics perspective. A novel framework, called lower leg trajectory error (LLTE) framework, presents a means of quantitatively optimizing the constitutive model of prosthetic feet to match a reference kinematic and kinetic dataset. This framework can be used to predict the required stiffness and geometry of a prosthesis to yield a desired biomechanical response. A passive prototype foot with adjustable ankle stiffness was tested by a unilateral transtibial amputee to evaluate this framework. The foot condition with LLTE-optimal ankle stiffness enabled the user to replicate the physiological target dataset within 16% root-mean-square (RMS) error. Specifically, the measured kinematic variables matched the target kinematics within 4% RMS error. Testing a range of ankle stiffness conditions from 1.5 to 24.4 N·m/deg with the same user indicated that conditions with lower LLTE values deviated the least from the target kinematic data. Across all conditions, the framework predicted the horizontal/vertical position, and angular orientation of the lower leg during midstance within 1.0 cm, 0.3 cm, and 1.5 deg, respectively. This initial testing suggests that prosthetic feet designed with low LLTE values could offer benefits to users. The LLTE framework is agnostic to specific foot designs and kinematic/kinetic user targets, and could be used to design and customize prosthetic feet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031003
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Demonstration of the Lower Leg Trajectory Error Framework Using Physiological Data as Inputs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this