View Full Version : Query - inertial properties of prostheses and orthoses?

07-27-2001, 05:38 AM
Hello all,

I am looking for information about the inertial properties of prostheses
and orthoses for human locomotion. More specifically, I would like to find
out how clinical researchers perform inverse dynamics calculations on
subjects with prostheses or orthoses.

Typically biomechanists estimate the inertial properties of the human body
segments based on previously published regression equations (see below for
example citations). Are there published equations for estimating masses
and moments of inertia for orthoses and/or prostheses? I realize these
could be determined empirically for each orthosis or prostheses, but that
wouldn't account for the masses and moments of inertia of the residual limb
segments. Other techniques could be used to estimate the masses and
moments of inertia for the residual limb segments, such as MRI, CT scans,
or limb segment modeling using volumes and estimated densities. Since any
method will obviously be an estimate, is there a consensus on which method
is best? worst?

I searched the Biomch-L archives and PubMed for leads on this question, but
didn't find anything that specifically concentrated on this issue. Your
help would be very much appreciated. I am particularly hoping that those
individuals that routinely perform inverse dynamics analyses on subjects
with orthoses and/or prostheses can provide a perspective on how they
deal with this issue. In addition, it would be helpful to know if you use
commercial kinematics systems (e.g. Peak Motus, Motion Analysis, Vicon,
etc.) to perform the inverse dynamics analyses and how you modify the

As is customary, I will post a summary of replies.

thank you for your consideration,
dan ferris


Chandler et al. (1975). Investigation of inertial properties of the human
body. Technical Report No. AMRL-TR-74-137. Wright Patterson Air Force Base,
Ohio, 45433.

Crompton RH, Li Y, Alexander RM, Wang W, Gunther MM. Segment inertial
properties of primates: new techniques for laboratory and field studies of
locomotion. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1996 Apr;99(4):547-70.

Forwood MR, Neal RJ, Wilson BD. Scaling segmental moments of inertia for
individual subjects. J Biomech. 1985;18(10):755-61.

Hillery SC, Wallace ES. Trans-tibial amputee gait adaptations as a result
of prosthetic inertial manipulation. Disabil Rehabil. 2000 May

Hinrichs, R.N. (1985) Regression equations to predict segmental moments of
inertia from anthropometric measurements: an extension of the data of
Chandler et al., J. Biomechanics 18(8):621-624.

Jensen RK. Changes in segment inertia proportions between 4 and 20 years.
J Biomech. 1989;22(6-7):529-36.

Jensen RK. Human morphology: its role in the mechanics of movement. J
Biomech. 1993;26 Suppl 1:81-94.

McConville, J.T., Churchill T.D., Kaleps I., Clauser C.E., Cuzzi J. (1980)
Anthropometric relationships of body and body segment moments of inertia
AFAMRL Technical Report 80-119, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Mattes SJ, Martin PE, Royer TD. Walking symmetry and energy cost in
persons with unilateral transtibial amputations: matching prosthetic and
intact limb inertial properties. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000

Mungiole M, Martin PE. Estimating segment inertial properties: comparison
of magnetic resonance imaging with existing methods. J Biomech.

Pearsall DJ, Reid JG, Livingston LA. Segmental inertial parameters of the
human trunk as determined from computed tomography. Ann Biomed Eng. 1996

Zatsiorsky, V., Selujanov V., and Chugunova L. (1990). In vivo body segment
inertial parameters determination using a gamma-scanner method. In
Biomechanics of Human Movement: Applications in Rehabilitation, Sports and
Ergonomics. (Eds. Berne N., and Capozzo A.) pp. 186- 202. Bertec Corp.
Worthington, OH

Zatsiorsky, V., and Selujanov V. (1985) Estimation of the mass and inertia
characteristics of the human body by means of the best predictive
regressions equations. Biomechanics IX-B (Eds. Winter, D.A., Norman R.W.,
Wells, R.P., Hayes K.C., and Paftla, A.E.) pp. 233-239. Human Kinetics.

Dan Ferris, Ph.D.
Human Neuromechanics Laboratory
Department of Movement Science
University of Michigan

mailing address:
Dan Ferris
Division of Kinesiology
401 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214

e-mail: ferrisdp@umich.edu
phone: (734) 647-6878
fax: (734) 936-1925

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