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Wojciech Jedziniak, Piotr Lesiakowski and Teresa Zwierko

that balance control in lower-limb amputees is associated with increased postural sway related to the increased complication of the balance adjustment process ( Ku, Abu Osman, & Wan Abas, 2014 ). As a consequence, lower-limb amputees use specific strategies for functional balance control during walking

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Hiroaki Hobara, Sakiko Saito, Satoru Hashizume, Hiroyuki Sakata and Yoshiyuki Kobayashi

and practitioners with a basis for better evaluation of sprint performance and aid in developing more effective training. Despite the prevalence of running-specific prostheses with energy storing capabilities, sprinting strategies in lower-extremity amputees using the running-specific prostheses are

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Atsushi Makimoto, Yoko Sano, Satoru Hashizume, Akihiko Murai, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Takemura and Hiroaki Hobara

unilateral or bilateral transtibial (below-knee) amputees or transfemoral (above-knee) amputees. Several studies demonstrated that individuals with unilateral transtibial amputation have asymmetric modulation of joint kinetics, 1 ground reaction forces (GRFs), 2 , 3 and related stride kinematics

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Gerda Strutzenberger, Adam Brazil, Timothy Exell, Hans von Lieres und Wilkau, John D. Davies, Steffen Willwacher, Johannes Funken, Ralf Müller, Kai Heinrich, Hermann Schwameder, Wolfgang Potthast and Gareth Irwin

the first contact. 9 Of the 3 lower limb joints, the knee contributes with approximately 25% the least amount toward acceleration. Amputee (AMP) athletes miss the contractile elements of the musculature of the amputated limb (eg, m. gastrocnemius and m. soleus), and although running

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Mário A.M. Simim, Gustavo R. da Mota, Moacir Marocolo, Bruno V.C. da Silva, Marco Túlio de Mello and Paul S. Bradley

Soccer is arguably the world’s most popular sport with over 265 million registered able-bodied participants worldwide ( Kunz, 2007 ). Numerous versions of the sport have developed such as futsal, beach, and amputee soccer (AS). AS has gained popularity worldwide, particularly in countries that

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Andrew W. Smith

The aims of the present study were to quantify lower limb kinetics and kinematics during walking and slow jogging of below-knee amputee athletes and to demonstrate the usefulness of the additional information provided by kinetic analyses as compared to that of kinematic assessments alone. Kinematic and force platform data from three amputee subjects were collected while the subjects walked and jogged in the laboratory. Results indicated that neither prosthesis (SACH and an energy-storing carbon fiber or ESCF) emulated the kinetics or the kinematics of so-called normal gait during walking. While the knee joint on the prosthetic side clearly tended to be biased toward extension during stance, the knee flexors were dominant and acted concentrically during this phase of the gait cycle. An examination of prosthetic limb hip and knee joint kinetics at both cadences revealed the functional role played by the hamstrings early in stance. The results indicated that with increasing cadence, less variability, measured by coefficients of variation, was evident in the kinematic data while the opposite was true for the kinetics.

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Sarah C. Moudy, Neale A. Tillin, Amy R. Sibley and Siobhán Strike

an amputee that has the ability or potential to negotiate environmental barriers and for prosthetic ambulation that exhibits high impact, stress, or energy levels. ITTA participants had amputations due to traumatic incidents (eg, automobile accident) and were a minimum of 6 months postamputation

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Marlene Schoeman, Ceri E. Diss and Siobhan C. Strike

A unilateral transtibial amputation causes a disruption to the musculoskeletal system, which results in asymmetrical biomechanics. The current study aimed to assess the movement asymmetry and compensations that occur as a consequence of an amputation when performing a countermovement vertical jump. Six unilateral transtibial amputees and 10 able-bodied (AB) participants completed 10 maximal vertical jumps, and the highest jump was analyzed further. Three-dimensional lower limb kinematics and normalized (body mass) kinetic variables were quantified for the intact and prosthetic sides. Symmetry was assessed through the symmetry index (SI) for each individual and statistically using the Mann-Whitney U test between the intact and prosthetic sides for the amputee group. A descriptive analysis between the amputee and AB participants was conducted to explore the mechanisms of amputee jumping. The amputee jump height ranged from 0.09 to 0.24 m. In the countermovement, all ankle variables were asymmetrical (SI > 10%) and statistically different (p < .05) for the amputees. At the knee and hip, there was no statistical difference between the intact and prosthetic sides range of motion, although there was evidence of individual asymmetry. The knees remained more extended compared with the AB participants to prevent collapse. In propulsion, the prosthesis did not contribute to the work done and the ankle variables were asymmetrical (p < .05). The knee and hip variables were not statistically different between the intact and prosthetic sides, although there was evidence of functional asymmetry and the contribution tended to be greater on the intact compared with the prosthetic side. The lack of kinetic involvement of the prosthetic ankle and both knees due to the limitation of the prosthesis and the altered musculoskeletal mechanics of the joints were the reason for the reduced height jumped.

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Paolo Taboga, Alena M. Grabowski, Pietro Enrico di Prampero and Rodger Kram

In the 2012 Paralympic 100 m and 200 m finals, 86% of athletes with a unilateral amputation placed their unaffected leg on the front starting block. Can this preference be explained biomechanically? We measured the biomechanical effects of starting block configuration for seven nonamputee sprinters and nine athletes with a unilateral amputation. Each subject performed six starts, alternating between their usual and unusual starting block configurations. When sprinters with an amputation placed their unaffected leg on the front block, they developed 6% greater mean resultant combined force compared with the opposite configuration (1.38 ± 0.06 vs 1.30 ± 0.11 BW, P = .015). However, because of a more vertical push angle, horizontal acceleration performance was equivalent between starting block configurations. We then used force data from each sprinter with an amputation to calculate the hypothetical starting mechanics for a virtual nonamputee (two unaffected legs) and a virtual bilateral amputee (two affected legs). Accelerations of virtual bilateral amputees were 15% slower compared with athletes with a unilateral amputation, which in turn were 11% slower than virtual nonamputees. Our biomechanical data do not explain the starting block configuration preference but they do explain the starting performance differences observed between nonamputee athletes and those with leg amputations.

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Hiroaki Hobara, Wolfgang Potthast, Ralf Müller, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Thijs A. Heldoorn and Masaaki Mochimaru

The aim of this study was to develop a normative sample of step frequency and step length during maximal sprinting in amputee sprinters. We analyzed elite-level 100-m races of 255 amputees and 93 able-bodied sprinters, both men and women, from publicly-available Internet broadcasts. For each sprinter’s run, the average forward velocity, step frequency, and step length over the 100-m distance were analyzed by using the official record and number of steps in each race. The average forward velocity was greatest in able-bodied sprinters (10.04 ± 0.17 m/s), followed by bilateral transtibial (8.77 ± 0.27 m/s), unilateral transtibial (8.65 ± 0.30 m/s), and transfemoral amputee sprinters (7.65 ± 0.38 m/s) in men. Differences in velocity among 4 groups were associated with step length (able-bodied vs transtibial amputees) or both step frequency and step length (able-bodied vs transfemoral amputees). Although we also found that the velocity was greatest in able-bodied sprinters (9.10 ± 0.14 m/s), followed by unilateral transtibial (7.08 ± 0.26 m/s), bilateral transtibial (7.06 ± 0.48 m/s), and transfemoral amputee sprinters (5.92 ± 0.33 m/s) in women, the differences in the velocity among the groups were associated with both step frequency and step length. Current results suggest that spatiotemporal parameters during a 100-m race of amputee sprinters is varied by amputation levels and sex.