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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 May;80(5):501-8.

Sprint kinematics of athletes with lower-limb amputations.

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Department of Exercise and Sport Science, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom.



To determine and compare the kinematics of the sound and prosthetic limb in five of the world's best unilateral amputee sprinters.


Five men, all unilateral lower-limb amputee (one transfemoral, four transtibial) athletes. The individual with transfemoral amputation used a Endolite Hi-activity prosthesis incorporating a CaTech hydraulic swing and stance control unit, a Flex-Foot Modular III, and an ischial containment total contact socket. Those with transtibial amputations used prostheses incorporating a Flex-Foot Modular III and patellar tendon-bearing socket, with silicone sheath liner (Iceross) and lanyard suspension.


Case series. Subjects were videotaped sprinting through a performance area. Sagittal plane lower-limb kinematics derived from manual digitization (at 50 Hz) of the video were determined for three sprint trials of the prosthetic and sound limb. Hip, knee, and ankle kinematics of each subject's sound and prosthetic limb were compared to highlight kinematic alterations resulting from the use of individual prostheses. Comparisons were also made with mean data from five able-bodied men who had similar sprinting ability.


Sound limb hip and knee kinematics in all subjects with amputation were comparable to those in able-bodied subjects. The prosthetic knee of the transfemoral amputee athlete fully extended early in swing and remained so through stance. In the transtibial amputee athletes, as in able-bodied subjects, a pattern of stance flexion-extension was evident for both limbs. During stance, prosthetic ankle angles of the transtibial amputee subjects were similar to those of the sound side and those of able-bodied subjects.


Prosthetic limb kinematics in transtibial amputee subjects were similar to those for the sound limb, and individuals achieved an "up-on-the-toes" gait typical of able-bodied sprinting. Kinematics for the prosthetic limb of the transfemoral amputee subject were more typical of those seen for walking. This resulted in a sprinting gait with large kinematic asymmetries between contralateral limbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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