The influence of four-bar linkage knees on prosthetic swing-phase floor clearance

Steven A. Gard*, Dudley S. Childness, Jack E. Uellendahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Four-bar linkage knees provide greater toe clearance during the swing phase of walking than do single-axis knees. The authors developed a computer model of a transfemoral prosthesis that allowed the kinematics of commercially available four-bar linkage knees and a single-axis knee to be simulated so leg-shortening could be characterized. A plot of hip-toe distance versus knee-flexion angle demonstrated four-bar knees are able to shorten the limb with less knee flexion than is needed using a single-axis knee. For a hip-knee angle combination at the time of minimum toe clearance during normal walking, contour plots revealed the four-bar knees have 0.9-3.2 cm greater toe clearance than do single-axis knees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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