Development of a Simplified Gait Analysis System to Determine the Effect of Restricted Ankle Motion During Stair Ambulation

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atrc, assistive, technology, resource, center, graduate, thesis, joint, prosthetic, gait, ankle, stair


The objective of this project was to develop a simplified gait analysis system to study the effect of restricted ankle motion on individuals with lower limb prostheses during stair ambulation. Stair ascent and descent is difficult for persons with below the knee amputations since they need to use a prosthesis, which can restrict flexion in the ankle region. Five individuals who did not have any physical disabilities were chosen as the subjects for this experiment. An ankle-foot prosthesis (AFO) was used to restrict flexion in the ankle. There were four different conditions that the subjects had to participate in: normal stair ascent, normal stair descent, stair ascent with an AFO, and a stair descent without an AFO. The simplified gait analysis system used three types of custom designed goniometers (6 total), to determine angle of rotation of the hip knee and ankle joints. Voltages from potentiometers incorporated into the gonimeters were recorded. Results of testing showed that stair ascent with the AFO increased hip flexion, range of motion, and maximum angular velocity. During stair descent, an increase in flexion in the left hip and a decrease in the flexion of the right knee were observed.