The impact of added mass placement on metabolic and temporal-spatial characteristics of transfemoral prosthetic gait

Andrea J. Ikeda*, Emily J. Hurst, Ann Marie Simon, Suzanne B. Finucane, Shenan Hoppe-Ludwig, Levi J. Hargrove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite prosthetic technology advancements, individuals with transfemoral amputation have compromised temporal-spatial gait parameters and high metabolic requirements for ambulation. It is unclear how adding mass at different locations on a transfemoral prosthesis might affect these outcomes. Research question Does walking with mass added at different locations on a transfemoral prosthesis affect temporal-spatial gait parameters and metabolic requirements compared to walking with no additional mass? Methods: Fourteen participants with unilateral transfemoral amputations took part. A 1.8 kg mass was added to their prostheses in three locations: Knee, just proximal to the prosthetic knee; Shank, mid-shank on the prosthesis; or Ankle, just proximal to the prosthetic foot. Temporal-spatial gait parameters were collected as participants walked over a GAITRite® walkway and metabolic data were collected during treadmill walking for each of these conditions and with no mass added, the None condition. Separate linear mixed effects models were created and post-hoc tests to compare with the control condition of None were performed with a significance level of 0.05. Results: Overground self-selected walking speed for Ankle was significantly slower than for None (p < 0.05) (None: 1.16 ± 0.24; Knee: 1.15 ± 0.19; Shank: 1.14 ± 0.24; Ankle 0.99 ± 0.20 m/s). Compared to None, Ankle showed significantly increased oxygen consumption during treadmill walking (p < 0.05) (None: 13.82 ± 2.98; Knee: 13.83 ± 2.82; Shank: 14.30 ± 2.89; Ankle 14.56 ± 2.99 ml O2/kg/min). Other metabolic outcomes (power, cost of transport, oxygen cost) showed similar trends. Knee and Shank did not have significant negative effects on any metabolic or temporal-spatial parameters, as compared to None (p > 0.05). Significance Results suggest that additional mass located mid-shank or further proximal on a transfemoral prosthesis may not have negative temporal-spatial or metabolic consequences. Clinicians, researchers, and designers may be able to utilize heavier components, as long as the center of mass is not further distal than mid-shank, without adversely affecting gait parameters or metabolic requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Above knee amputation
  • Gait asymmetry
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Prosthesis
  • Treadmill walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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