Qualitative and quantitative monitoring of amputee gait cycle to aid in prostheses fit assessment
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Journal: International Journal of COMADEM
An investigation has been carried out by the authors to assess two novel techniques in the field of prosthetics (photoelasticity and electrical resistance strain gauges) for use as alternative tools for the qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the amputee gait cycle together with the distribution of pressures at the residual limb/socket interface to aid in the assessment of prostheses fit. This paper presents qualitative and quantitative data gathered during several prosthesis fitting sessions for a male trans-tibial amputee. The results have shown that the photoelastic technique can accurately and reliably visualise, simulate, identify, and map interface interactions between the residual limb and the socket and the transducer can be used to monitor the gait cycle repeatability/efficiency for the subject used in this trial. Further development of the techniques is expected to provide a new tool that has the potential to advance knowledge in the area of limb/socket biomechanics. The tool will also lead to the identification of the dynamic visual and numerical relationship between socket fit and gait cycle quality/efficiency., This will provide the prosthetist with qualitative and quantitative tools for immediate assessment of socket fit and gait analysis at the fitting stage without the need for a gait analysis laboratory.