Comparing a Passive-Elastic and a Powered Prosthesis in Transtibial Amputees

Chiara Mancinelli, Benjamin Patritti, Peppino Tropea, Richard Greenwald, Rick Casler, Hugh Herr, Paolo Bonato

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Passive-elastic foot prostheses cannot produce net work. Consequently, passive-elastic foot prostheses are limited in their ability to enable a biologically-realistic gait pattern in transtibial amputees. This shortcoming results in difficulties in balance and walking and leads to high levels of oxygen consumption during locomotion. A powered prosthesis has the potential for overcoming these problems and allowing transtibial amputees to achieve a biologically-realistic gait pattern. In this study, we compared the effects of the Ceterus by ssur, a traditional passive-elastic prosthesis, with those of the PowerFoot Biom (iWalk, Cambridge, MA), a recently-developed powered prosthesis. Gait biomechanics and metabolic cost were compared in a group of 5 transtibial amputees during level-ground walking. The results provided preliminary evidence that the use of a powered prosthesis leads to a decrease in the level of oxygen consumption during ambulation due to improvements in ankle kinematics and kinetics primarily during late stance. An average decrease in oxygen consumption of 8.4% was observed during the study when subjects used the PowerFoot compared to the Ceterus. An average increase of 54% was observed in the peak ankle power generation during late stance. Our results suggest that powered prostheses have the potential for significantly improving ambulation in transtibial amputees.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2011
    Event33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS -
    Duration: 30 Aug 2011 → …


    Conference33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS
    Period30/08/11 → …


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