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Understanding the characteristics of ground reaction forces (GRFs) on both limbs during sprinting in unilateral amputees wearing running-specific prostheses would provide important information that could be utilized in the evaluation of athletic performance and development of training methods in this population. The purpose of this study was to compare GRFs between intact and prosthetic limbs during sprinting in unilateral transfemoral amputees wearing running-specific prostheses. Nine sprinters with unilateral transfemoral amputation wearing the same type of prosthesis performed maximal sprinting on a 40-m runway. GRFs were recorded from 7 force plates placed in the center of the runway. Peak forces and impulses of the GRFs in each direction were compared between limbs. Peak forces in vertical, braking, propulsive, and medial directions were significantly greater in intact limbs than those in prosthetic limbs, whereas there were no significant differences in peak lateral force between limbs. Further, significantly less braking impulses were observed in prosthetic limbs than in intact limbs; however, the other measured impulses were not different between limbs. Therefore, the results of the present study suggest that limb-specific rehabilitation and training strategies should be developed for transfemoral amputees wearing running-specific prostheses.
Makimoto, Sano, Hashizume, Murai, Kobayashi, Takemura, and Hobara are with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan. Makimoto, Sano, and Takemura are also with the Tokyo University of Science, Chiba, Japan.