Lower limb amputation has been associated with secondary impairments such as knee osteoarthritis in the uninvolved limb. Greater knee loading in the frontal plane has been related to severity and rate of progression in knee osteoarthritis. Reduced push-off work from the involved limb can increase uninvolved limb knee loading. However, little is known about specific effects that prosthetic foot damping may have on uninvolved limb loading. We hypothesized that uninvolved limb peak knee internal abduction moment (IAM) and loading rates would be greater when using a high-damping foot compared with a low-damping foot, across walking speeds. Eight healthy, young subjects walked in a prosthesis simulator boot using the experimental feet. Greater uninvolved limb first peak IAM (+16% in fast speed, P = .002; +11% in slow speed, P = .001) and loading rates (+11% in fast speed, P = .003) were observed when using the high-damping foot compared with low-damping foot. Within each foot, uninvolved limb first peak IAM and loading rates had a trend to increase with increased walking speed. These findings suggest that damping properties of prosthetic feet are related to uninvolved limb peak knee IAM and loading rates.
Li Jin, Michelle Roland, and Michael E. Hahn are with the Department of Human Physiology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Peter G. Adamczyk is with Intelligent Prosthetic Systems, LLC; and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.