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Longitudinal kinematic and kinetic adaptations to obstacle crossing in recent lower limb amputees

Polman, Remco CJ; Polman, Remco C J; Barnett, Cleveland T.; Barnett, Cleveland Thomas; Barnett, Cleveland T; Polman, Remco C. J.; Vanicek, Natalie


Remco CJ Polman

Remco C J Polman

Cleveland T. Barnett

Cleveland Thomas Barnett

Cleveland T Barnett

Remco C. J. Polman


Background: Obstacle crossing is an important activity of daily living, necessary to avoid tripping or falling, although it is not fully understood how transtibial amputees adapt to performing this activity of daily living following discharge from rehabilitation. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the longitudinal adaptations in obstacle crossing in transtibial amputees post-discharge from rehabilitation. Study design: Longitudinal repeated measures. Methods: Seven unilateral transtibial amputees crossed an obstacle 0.1m high positioned along a walkway while kinematic and kinetic data were recorded at 1, 3 and 6 months post-discharge. Results: At 6 months post-discharge, walking velocity had increased (0.17 m.s⁻¹) with most participants self-selecting an intact lead limb preference. During swing phase, peak knee flexion (p = 0.03) and peak knee power absorption (K4; p = 0.01) were greater with an intact versus affected lead limb preference. Having crossed the obstacle, intact limb peak ankle power generation in pre-swing (A2; p = 0.01) and knee power absorption (K3; p = 0.05) during stance phase were greater when compared to the affected limb. Conclusions: Obstacle crossing improved, although a greater reliance on intact limb function was highlighted. Results suggested that further improvements to locomotor performance may be obtained by increasing affected limb knee range of motion and concentric and eccentric strength of the knee extensors and flexors. Clinical relevance The novel objective data from this study establish an understanding of how recent transtibial amputees adapt to performing obstacle crossing following discharge from rehabilitation. This allows for evidence-based clinical interventions to be developed, aimed at optimising biomechanical function, thus improving overall locomotor performance and perhaps subsequent quality of life


Barnett, C. T., Polman, R. C. J., & Vanicek, N. (2014). Longitudinal kinematic and kinetic adaptations to obstacle crossing in recent lower limb amputees. Prosthetics and orthotics international, 38(6), 437-446.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2013
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2013
Publication Date 2014-12
Deposit Date Sep 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Prosthetics and orthotics International
Print ISSN 0309-3646
Electronic ISSN 1746-1553
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 6
Pages 437-446
Keywords Obstacle crossing, Adaptation, Transtibial, Amputee, Rehabilitation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Prosthetics and orthotics international, 2014, v.38, issue 6