Interrater reliability of mechanical tests for functional classification of transtibial prosthesis components distal to the socket

Matthew J. Major*, William Brett Johnson, Steven A. Gard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Substantial evidence suggests that the design and associated mechanical function of lower-limb prostheses affects user health and mobility, supporting common standards of clinical practice for appropriate matching of prosthesis design and user needs. This matching process is dependent on accurate and reliable methods for the functional classification of prosthetic components. The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association developed a set of tests for L-code characterization of prosthesis mechanical properties to facilitate functional classification of passive below-knee prosthetic components. The mechanical tests require use of test-specific fixtures to be installed in a materials testing machine by a test administrator. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the interrater reliability of test outcomes between two administrators using the same testing facility. Ten prosthetic components (8 feet and 2 pylons) that spanned the range of commercial designs were subjected to all appropriate tests. Tests with scalar outcomes demonstrated high interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (2,1) >/= 0.935), and there was no discrepancy in observation-based outcomes between administrators, suggesting that between-administrator variability may not present a significant source of error. These results support the integration of these mechanical tests for prosthesis classification, which will help enhance objectivity and optimization of the prosthesis-patient matching process for maximizing rehabilitation outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-476
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of rehabilitation research and development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 29 2015


  • Amputation
  • Below-knee
  • Characterization
  • Function
  • Health
  • Mechanical
  • Mobility
  • Properties
  • Prosthesis
  • Reimbursement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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