Ramp descent in unilateral trans-tibial amputees
This study looked at the difference in slope decent for amputees using a microprocessor ankle compared to a simple rubber ball ankle joint. The results showed that the crucial component in this activity is foot-flat on the slope without the need of excessive compensatory movements.
The majority of prosthetic feet available are prescribed with a rigid, non-articulating shank attachment. This set up allows flat foot contact with plain outdoor services. They are however, not well equipped to deal with inclinations and the compensating movements necessary may result in a breaking effect, which slows descent and can have knock on effects.
There are currently a number of different ankle designs that would allow articulation of the joint. This study compared a basic multi-axial rubber ball ankle joint to a hydraulic ankle joint with microprocessors that detect the angle of the terrain. It further explored the difference experienced when microprocessor was switched off but the same ankle joint still worn.
Using a 5 degree decline they found that the basic ankle allowed faster return to flat foot at the bottom of the ramp. However, hip compensatory work was most notably present in those who wore a duplicate of the basic testing ankles as their daily ankles, whilst those who were accustomed to using the microprocessor had the least compensatory movement.
Want to read deeper into this topic? Read more about the difference between biological ankle and foot vs. their prosthetic counterpartshere!
Video: Bilateral Above Knee Amputees Steep Hill
Try walking down a slop but keeping your ankle rigid, where do you feel the body working hardest?
> From: Struchkov et al., Clin Biomech 32 (2016) 164-170. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.