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Design and quantitative evaluation of a stance-phase controlled prosthetic knee joint for children.

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Research Institute, Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.


The aims of this study were to demonstrate a theoretical basis for the design of a stance-phase controlled paediatric prosthetic knee joint, clinically test prototypes of the knee, and use a questionnaire to evaluate its efficacy. Biomechanical models were used to analyze the stance-phase control characteristics of the proposed knee, and those of three other commonly prescribed paediatric knee joint mechanisms, which were also the conventional knee joints used by the six participants of this study (mean age 10.8 years). A questionnaire pertaining to stance-phase control was designed and administered twice to each child; once for the evaluation of the prototype knee joint and once for the conventional knee joint. Stance-phase modeling results indicated decreased zones of instability for the new knee as compared to other paediatric knee joints. Questionnaire results revealed a decrease in the frequency of falls with the prototype compared to other knees, especially in highly active children. The children also reported worrying less about the knee collapsing during walking. No differences were evident for stance-phase stability during running, walking on uneven terrain, ambulating up and down stairs and inclines, fatigue, and types of activities performed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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