How should we assess the mechanical properties of lower-limb prosthesis technology used in elite sport?—An initial investigation


Despite recent controversy, it is not yet formally recognised how lower-limb prosthesis should be assessed for their performance. To assist in this process, experiments are undertaken to investigate the linearity, stiffness and assessment of feet based energy return prosthesis technology typically used for elite level high speed running. Through initial investigations, it is concluded that static load testing would not be recommended to specify or regulate energy return prostheses for athletes with a lower-limb amputation. Furthermore, an assessment of energy return technology when loaded under dynamic conditions demonstrates changes in mechanical stiffness due to bending and effective blade length variation during motion. Such radical changes of boundary conditions due to loading suggest that any assessment of lower-limb prosthesis technology in the future should use methods that do not assume linear mechanical stiffness. The research into such effects warrants further investigation in the future.

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Dyer, B. , Sewell, P. and Noroozi, S. (2013) How should we assess the mechanical properties of lower-limb prosthesis technology used in elite sport?—An initial investigation. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 116-123. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.62015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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