Date of Award

8-7-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Mark Geil

Second Advisor

Jianhua Wu

Third Advisor

Christopher Ingalls

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze kinetic and kinematic data of individuals with unilateral transtibial limb loss and the effect different alignments have on the individual’s gait while they walk over uneven terrain. Individuals with lower limb loss are currently having their prostheses dynamically aligned to ensure a satisfactory walking gait on level ground with smooth surfaces, usually in the clinician's office or hallway. This study was looking to determine whether or not current prosthesis alignment procedures are adequate for determining a satisfactory walking gait on non-level and non-smooth terrains as well level smooth surfaces. An effective and efficient walking pattern is necessary to prevent degenerative conditions within the bones, muscles or other tissues of the body, due to compensations of the gait pattern. Sometimes, individuals are able to mask any compensations if their safety is unaffected by their surroundings and they are able to maintain a gait that appears normal or optimal. However, if terrains used on a daily basis present a sense of insecurity, gait compensations could be more problematic to the individual and they need to be addressed and corrected as best they can. This study determined that while there were some changes in gait on the uneven surface, due to the number of subjects it is unclear whether the changes are significant. The individuals showed a decrease in walking speed and step length and an increase in step width. There were also changes in the peak axial force.

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