Although weight transfer is an important component of gait rehabilitation, the biomechanical strategy underlying the vertical ground reaction force loading/unloading in individuals with unilateral transfemoral amputation between intact and prosthetic limbs remains unclear. We investigated weight transfer between limbs at different walking speeds in 15 individuals with unilateral transfemoral amputation and 15 individuals without amputation as controls, who walked on an instrumented treadmill. The normalized unloading and loading rates were calculated as the slope of decay and rise phase of the vertical ground reaction force, respectively. We performed linear regression analyses for trailing limb’s unloading rate and leading limb’s loading rate between the prosthetic, intact, and control limbs. While loading rate increased with walking speed in all three limbs, the greatest increase was observed in the intact limb. In contrast to the other limbs, the prosthetic limb unloading rate was relatively insensitive to speed changes. Consequently, the regression line between trailing prosthetic and leading intact limbs deviated from other relationships. These results suggest that weight transfer is varied whether the leading or trailing limb is the prosthetic or intact side, and the loading rate of the leading limb is partially affected by the unloading rate of the contralateral trailing limb.
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