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amputee running and marker sets

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  • amputee running and marker sets

    I am going to make a bold attempt to bring together two
    very interesting discussion lines: Marker placement and the
    Oscar Pistorius debate.

    Regarding running with a prosthesis I think there is one
    element that has not been mentioned and is probably one of
    the most critical to the amputee’s ability to function with
    a prosthesis. The suspension of a prosthesis is imperfect
    relative to the skeletal anatomy. The best prosthetic
    suspension available (neglecting osteo-integration) will
    minimize movement of the socket relative to the skin.
    There is essentially a 6 degree of freedom joint between
    the prosthetic socket and the residual skeleton.
    Displacement of the socket relative to the skeleton
    depends on many factors: amount of surrounding soft tissue,
    anatomy of that soft tissue (stiffness and voluntary
    control), surface geometry of the socket, stiffness of the
    socket, type of prosthetic suspension, weight of the
    prosthesis, and inertial forces acting to pull the
    prosthesis distally i.e. high lower limb swing phase

    Of course, one of the principle jobs of the prosthetist is
    to manage and minimize movement at this joint in a way that
    is comfortable to the amputee. Athletes will also use
    secondary and even tertiary suspension methods to further
    minimize movement, but the joint is still there.
    Obviously, the less movement at this ‘joint’ the easier it
    is to neglect the joint when doing kinetic and kinematic
    calculations for the prosthetic side of the body.

    So the questions are:
    1. How significant is this joint and what are the dangers
    of neglecting it in terms of gait analysis and inverse
    dynamics calculations?
    2. Is there a way to account for this joint during gait
    studies of amputees, especially amputees with fleshy limbs
    where larger movements between the skeleton and socket may
    3. Is there a way to determine the cost to the amputee
    caused by movement at this joint or voluntary control of
    4. Are we safe in the commonly held assumption that the
    existence of this joint is inherently disadvantageous to
    the amputee?

    I have my suspicions, but suspect there are people much
    better equipped than I to attempt to answer these

    Thank you,


    Jason Wening, MS, CP
    Clinical Research Director
    Certified Prosthetist
    Scheck and Siress Prosthetics, Orthotics, & Pedorthics
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