Feasibility study on the inclusion of a carbon fibre footplate to modify transtibial prosthetic gait

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Feasibility study on the inclusion of a carbon fibre footplate to modify transtibial prosthetic gait

 

Author: Bertels, Steven Lodewijk Ludovica
Title: Feasibility study on the inclusion of a carbon fibre footplate to modify transtibial prosthetic gait
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Amputees -- Rehabilitation.
Artificial legs
Leg -- Amputation
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: 69 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2354999
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5691
Abstract: Background: This pilot study, the first of its kind, investigates the feasibility of a carbon fibre footplate implementation under the Solid-Ankle Cushion Heel (SACH) foot to improve gait patterns in transtibial amputees at a self selected walking velocity. Objectives: In emerging countries, the SACH foot is often the only prosthetic foot available and developed countries face a booming prosthetic cost. This study examines the feasibility to implement a carbon fibre footplate to extend the drop off phase and to provide dynamic elastic properties under the SACH foot. Methods: Interventional pilot study with cross-over design including six transtibial amputees with an activity level ranging from K2 to K3+. F-scan matrix insoles measure vertical forces during gait to enable statistical analysis of differences in force-time integrals and stance phase periods on the ipsilateral side of the intervention. The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Sum test is used to do statistical analysis. The Center of Pressure distribution and questionnaire results are discussed for each subject individually. Results: The force-time integral did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.562) while a longer stance phase period was seen when using the carbon fibre footplate (P = 0.0313). It is however debatable if this increase resulted in improved gait performance. The mean Center of Pressure during stance phase and the questionnaire presented very diverse results for the two methods among the different subjects. Conclusion: The author observed notable gait changes after implementing a carbon fibre footplate under the SACH foot for unilateral transtibial amputees with K3 and above activity levels although no significant statistical results were demonstrated. More research with larger sample sizes is needed to provide meaningful and significant support. The author proposes that future studies focusing on a carbon fibre footplate under a conventional prosthetic foot consider limiting the diversity in activity levels and the exclusion of bilateral amputees. Additionally, a combination of different material properties under specific parts of the prosthetic foot may be needed for a more suitable outcome.

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