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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2012 Sep;36(3):312-7. doi: 10.1177/0309364612442121.

Leg stiffness and sprint ability in amputee sprinters.

Author information

1
Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Rehabilitation for the Movement Functions, Namiki 4-1, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan. hobara-hiroaki@rehab.go.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Understanding leg stiffness (K (leg)) in amputee sprinters is important for the evaluation of their sprint ability and development of running-specific prostheses (RSP).

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate K (leg) during hopping in amputee sprinters.

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

METHODS:

Seven transtibial (TT) and seven transfemoral (TF) amputee sprinters, as well as seven non-active able-bodied subjects, performed one-legged hopping matching metronome beats at 2.2 Hz. Amputees hopped on their sound limb whereas able-bodied (AB) subjects hopped on their dominant limb. Using a spring-mass model, K (leg) was calculated from the subjects' body mass, ground contact and flight times.

RESULTS:

Both TT and TF sprinters demonstrated significantly higher K (leg) than AB subjects. K (leg) during hopping on the sound leg significantly correlated with personal records attained in a 100-m sprint in both TT (r = -0.757) and TF sprinters (r = -0.855).

CONCLUSION:

The results of the present study suggest that amputee sprinters have a greater K (leg) during hopping than inactive non-amputees, and that their sprint ability can be predicted from the K (leg) during hopping at 2.2 Hz on the sound limb.

PMID:
22918908
DOI:
10.1177/0309364612442121
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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