Gait Analysis in Individuals with Transtibial Amputation Walking on Sand: Comparing Everyday Prosthesis with a Water-Activity Prosthesis

Maayken van den Berg, Christopher Barr, Sally Cavenett, Maria Crotty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This exploratory descriptive case-control study examined gait characteristics during sand walking in people with unilateral transtibial amputation, comparing patterns between everyday prosthesis with shoe, everyday prosthesis without shoe (EPWS), and a water-activity prosthesis (WAP), and evaluated how users experience the use of the WAP. Materials and Methods: Three-dimensional gait analysis, using an eight-camera Viconmotion capture system, was completed for 16 participants (mean age, 51.4 ± 5.5; 75% male, amputation etiology 63% trauma) when walking independently over level ground (baseline) and sand (gait adaptation response). Outcome variables were spatiotemporal data and kinematic data for the hip, knee, and ankle, and additionally, a purposefully designed Water Activity Prosthesis Survey was completed. Results: The results demonstrated cautious gait with reduced walking speed (P < 0.05) and decreased ankle range of motion (<0.05) in the prosthetic limb when walking with the EPWS and WAP. Using the WAP resulted in most prominent kinematic adaptational changes on sand. When comparing differences between the EPWS and WAP, significantly less hip extension (-2.92°; 95% confidence interval, -5.56 to -0.28; P = 0.02) and significantly less movement at the ankle (P < 0.05) occurred in the prosthetic limb in walking trials with the WAP. Nevertheless, more than 80% of the participants used the WAP at least twice a week for shower, pool, and beach activities. Conclusions: This study suggests that, although important for participation in ADL and leisure activities and supporting higher quality of life, the use of theWAP leads to unfavorable biomechanical gait alterations. Therefore, when prescribing theWAP, this trade-off should be taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Compliant surface
  • Everyday prosthesis
  • Gait
  • Kinematics
  • Sand walking
  • Spatiotemporal gait parameters
  • Transtibial amputation
  • Water-activity prosthesis


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