Double-limb support and step-length asymmetry in below-knee amputees
E Isakov, H Burger, J Krajnik, M Gregoric, C Marincek
Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Department, Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Tel-Aviv University School of Medicine, Ra'anana, Israel.
The sequence of gait events and symmetry of kinematic parameters between both lower limbs are compromised in below-knee amputees. In the present study the periods of double-limb support and the step length in below-knee amputees were investigated. The symmetry of the two periods of double-limb support occurring in each stride was obviously abnormal (ratio: 0.74) among temporal and distance parameters. The time of double-limb support (0.211 +/- 0.05 seconds) measured from heel-strike of the amputated leg until toe-off of the normal leg was significantly longer (p = 0.011) when compared with the contralateral leg (0.173 +/- 0.04 seconds). The step length of the normal leg (0.709 +/- 0.07 m) was significantly (p = 0.045) shorter than that of the amputated leg (0.752 +/- 0.08 m). Most of these differences between measured kinematic parameters can be explained by the limited ability of the prosthesis ankle-foot component to reproduce the normal functions of both foot and ankle.
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