View Full Version : Course: Biomechanics

Shaun Treweek
06-03-1997, 12:40 AM
A colleague has asked me to post this to the list. There is an address for
further information in the text.


Dr Shaun Treweek
National Centre
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, Scotland


1997 - 1998



The National Centre for Training and Education in Prosthetics and Orthotics
is based in the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow,
with associated facilities in rehabilitation centres and hospitals in the
area. It operates in association with the Bioengineering Unit
and is administered by the University on behalf of the Scottish Home and
Health Department and the Scottish Health Service.

The functions of the Centre are to provide professional training for
prosthetists/orthotists; to provide courses to maintain and
extend the professional competence of practising prosthetists and
orthotists in relation to advances in established techniques,
new techniques and associated developments; to offer postgraduate
training to doctors, paramedical staff and administrators
involved in prosthetics and orthotics; to train future instructors in
prosthetics and orthotics; to enhance and maintain awareness
of current research and its clinical applications.

The Centre offers a four year honours degree course leading to the award of
Bachelor of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
The Centre also has a commitment to provide facilities for
post-qualification professional development. To this end the centre
provides short courses of one or two weeks duration to maintain and extend
the professional competence of those involved in
rehabilitation. Typically these courses are intended to give the members
of the clinic team an overview of the basic concepts
and modern practices in prosthetics and orthotics.

It has become apparent that some people would like to understand the
biomechanical implications of prosthetic and orthotic
fittings and movement analysis in greater depth. Therefore, the courses;
Postgraduate Diploma in Lower Limb Prosthetic Biomechanics,
Postgraduate Diploma in Lower Limb Orthotic Biomechanics and
Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Gait Analysis have been introduced to enable
participants to explore biomechanics using
distance learning techniques whilst continuing in full time employment.
Distance learning allows candidates to learn at their own
pace and at times which fit best into their own daily routine.

The courses do not contain new knowledge but endeavour to present standard
knowledge in a coherent format for those with
little background in the subjects covered. Most of the course material is
contained in lecture booklets which are sent sequentially
to the candidates. These booklets are designed to guide the candidate
through the material to be learned using text, illustrations
and exercises. In some instances activities involving everyday household
equipment are suggested. References to relevent
research publications are included. The course tutors are available for
direct contact by telephone, letter, fax and E-mail should
a candidate require to discuss any aspect of the course.

The two residential weeks when the students attend the National Centre for
laboratory/demonstration and tutorial sessions
intended to expand upon the material which has been presented in the
booklets are essential features of the courses. At the
end of each of these two five day periods there will be a three hour
examination. Successful completion of a course is
dependent on obtaining an adequate mark in each of the two examinations.

Entrance qualifications

The Postgraduate Diploma courses have been designed for professional
personnel involved in prosthetics, orthotics, therapy,
rehabilitation surgery etc. Candidates must possess an academic or
professional qualification acceptable to The Director of
the National Centre. The numerical content of the course requires a basic
knowledge of trigonometry and the ability to handle
simple algebraic equations.

Course structure

12 months duration (24 months maximum duration).
Correspondence lecture booklets.
2 five day laboratory/demonstration/ tutorial/examination sessions at the
National Centre.


Candidates will be required to perform any course work set in the
correspondence booklets satisfactorily. At the conclusion
of each of the residential periods, Friday afternoon, the candidates will
sit a written examination which will concentrate on the
material covered during that residential period. Candidates are required
to pass both examinations to successfully complete
the course.

Registration and Fees

The courses commence on 1st October 1997 but registration should be
completed by 1st August 1997. The courses will
run only if there are sufficient candidates, so please register you
interest early.

The fees for 1997 - 1998 have yet to be announced but the fees for 1996 -
1997 were 980.

Further Information
If you require any further information about these courses please contact
the Distance Learning Office,
National Centre for Training and Education in Prosthetics and Orthotics,
Curran Building, University of Strathclyde,
Glasgow. G4 0LS. UK.
Telephone: 0141.548 3931
Fax: 0141.552.1283
e-mail: d.simpson@strath.ac.uk


All lower limb prostheses are constructed with three major parts: the
socket, the leg section and the foot. During walking
the forces generated at the ground are transferred to the skeletal system
via the soft tissue interface within the prosthetic
socket. The patient will only wear their prosthesis if it is comfortable
and the magnitude of the forces within the socket
may be increased to intolerable levels by the shape of the socket and the
relative position of the foot and the socket within
the prosthesis assembly.

This course is intended to give the candidates an understanding of the
forces generated during walking with lower limb
prostheses, the effects of these forces on the patient and the prostheses
and how mal-alignment and poor socket fit influence
the magnitude of these forces. Also the mechanical requirements of
prosthetic knee mechanisms will be considered.


An orthosis should exert, as closely as possible, the correct magnitude of
force in the best pattern to just overcome the
patients problem, and no more. Overbracing can create unnecessary
difficulties for the patient and should be avoided
by accurate prescription. Superimposed on such prescribed forces are those
which are generated when a patient walks.
All such forces are transferred to the skeletal system via the soft tissue
interface at the areas where the orthosis is in contact
with the limb.

This course is intended to give the candidates an understanding of the
force systems required to meet the different prescription
aims of orthotic fitting. The magnitude of the forces generated during
walking with lower limb orthoses, the effects of these
forces on the patient and the orthoses and how mal-alignment and poor fit
influence such forces will be considered.


Human gait has been a subject of interest and study for a considerable
period of time. It is only relatively recently that the
art of gait analysis has been refined to be of relevance to the clinical
scene. Human gait, whether in health or disease, is a
complex activity and remains a difficult area to tackle. To make an impact
in the clinic it is necessary to have a systematic
approach to defining the problem of interest, establishing the means and
methods of assessment and interpreting the findings.

The clinical acceptability of any data depends very much on the ease of
obtaining the results and on their presentation.
Given that the information may be obtained conveniently and quickly, it
must then be presented in a palatable form. Without
a careful plan of action and without clear knowledge about what can and
cannot be achieved, the likely outcome will be

This course is intended to give the candidates an appreciation of the
methods and levels of accuracy of those gait assessment
techniques which are currently available. They range from the simple to
the sophisticated, (or the inexpensive to the costly),
and the advantages and limitations of each will be explored. The
interpretation of the data and its relevance to clinically
observed conditions will be discussed.