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Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2000 Jun;15(5):352-8.

Biomechanical adaptations of transtibial amputee sprinting in athletes using dedicated prostheses.

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Biomechanics Research Group, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsagar Campus, Hassell Road, Stoke-on-Trent Cheshire ST7 2HL, Manchester, UK.



To determine the biomechanical adaptations of the prosthetic and sound limbs in two of the world's best transtibial amputee athletes whilst sprinting.


Case study design, repeated measures.


Using dedicated sprint prostheses transtibial amputees have run the 100 m in a little over 11 s. Lower-limb biomechanics when using such prostheses have not previously been investigated.


Moments, muscle powers and the mechanical work done at the joints of the prosthetic and sound limbs were calculated as subjects performed repeated maximal sprint trials using a Sprint Flex or Cheetah prosthesis.


An increased hip extension moment on the prosthetic limb, with an accompanying increase in the amount of concentric work done, was the most notable adaptation in Subject 1 using either prosthesis. In Subject 2, an increased extension moment at the residual knee, and an accompanying increase in the amount of total work done, was the most notable adaptation using either prosthesis. This later adaptation was also evident in Subject 1 when using his Sprint Flex prosthesis.


Increased hip work on the prosthetic limb has previously been shown to be the major compensatory mechanism that allow transtibial amputees to run. The increased work found at the residual knee, suggests that the two amputee sprinters used an additional compensatory mechanism.


These findings provide an insight into the biomechanical adaptations that allow a transtibial amputee to attain the speeds achieved when sprinting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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