The Difference Threshold of Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Stiffness for Persons with Transtibial Amputation

Max K. Shepherd, Alejandro F. Azocar, Matthew J. Major, Elliott J Rouse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most prosthetic feet behave like springs, and their stiffness affects many important facets of amputee gait. Despite the importance of prosthesis stiffness, the ability of amputees to sense stiffness changes-that is, distinguish between more or less stiff feet-is unknown. This perceptual resolution has implications for the methodology and overall significance of selecting the optimal foot stiffness during prescription. In this experiment, we used a custom, variable-stiffness ankle prosthesis to make small adjustments to stiffness in between steps, and below-knee amputees were asked to identify whether the ankle became more or less stiff. We determined that the average difference threshold of stiffness was 8%, meaning that subjects could correctly identify an 8% change in stiffness 75% of the time. This high sensitivity underscores the importance of optimizing prosthesis stiffness on an individual basis, and suggests a shift is needed in the characterization of commercial feet and the use of stiffness variation during the prescription process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBIOROB 2018 - 7th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages100-104
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538681831
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 9 2018
Event7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BIOROB 2018 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: Aug 26 2018Aug 29 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics
Volume2018-August
ISSN (Print)2155-1774

Other

Other7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BIOROB 2018
CountryNetherlands
CityEnschede
Period8/26/188/29/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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    Shepherd, M. K., Azocar, A. F., Major, M. J., & Rouse, E. J. (2018). The Difference Threshold of Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Stiffness for Persons with Transtibial Amputation. In BIOROB 2018 - 7th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (pp. 100-104). [8488075] (Proceedings of the IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics; Vol. 2018-August). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/BIOROB.2018.8488075