There has been no direct attempt to evaluate whether gait performed overground and on a treadmill is the same for lower limb amputees. A multiple case study approach was adopted to explore the degenerate movement behavior displayed by three male amputees. Participants walked overground at a self-selected preferred pace and when this speed was enforced on a treadmill (50 stride cycles per condition). The extremities of motion (i.e., maximum flexion) for the hip and knee joints differed between conditions (0.2–3.8°). For two participants, the temporal asymmetry of gait was reduced on the treadmill. Initial data suggest that research on amputees simulating overground walking on a treadmill might need to be interpreted with some caution.
Chris Button is with the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Stuart Moyle is with the Research, Evaluation, and Audit in Mental Health Services at Counties Manukau District Health Board in Auckland, New Zealand. Keith Davids is with the Queensland University of Technology, School of Human Movement Studies in Brisband, Queensland, Australia.