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Course: Biomechanics

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  • Course: Biomechanics

    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


    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.