The walk-to-run transition in amputees
The current study showed that the transition speed in amputees was slower than that of their able bodied comparisons, but that they are still able to create high propulsion forces. This goes against theories that this speed is dictated by the remaining plantar flexor muscles.
The biomechanics involved in the transition from walking to running have been heavily explored. For amputees, the propulsion force is reduced because the plantar flexors are no longer present. This study aimed to determine the speed at which the transition can occur and if there is a relationship to side propulsion force on the none amputated side.
There was no significant difference due to the type of prosthetic used, but a wide variety of results were seen in amputee transition speed compared to the able bodied persons, especially with use of passive-elastic prosthesis. Amputee subjects were able to create increased propulsion forces on both sides once walking at speed higher than the speed they would normally start running at.
Want to read more on this subject? You can find an article on the tricky transition from walking to running here!
What muscle(s) can compensate for the missing plantar flexors during push off?
> From: Giest et al., J Biomech (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.