Transtibial Amputation; Gait Analysis; Joint Angles; Kinematics
While individuals with lower limb prosthetics make up a very small percentage of the population, their musculoskeletal deformities impair their abilities to produce “normal” biomechanical actions. The deviations in their walking patterns can further inhibit their efficacy in other activities of basic living. Understanding the distinct kinematic comparisons during gait between lower limb amputees and able-bodied individuals is critical for those planning to enter such a field of study working with this specific population. As an aspiring specialized Physical Therapist, it is very likely that I will be assisting clients to regain a healthy walking pattern after a traumatic accident, bone or joint deterioration, or other health conditions causing a form of lower limb amputation. In the following project, angles of both hip and knee joints have been assessed through hands-on experimental work as well as online data collection. An in-person study recruited seven able-bodied, healthy individuals to walk at preferred speeds while a 16-camera motion capture system recorded and calculated their lower limb joint angles. Literature research was also utilized to incorporate discussions from published journals of the hip and knee angles observed from multiple transtibial amputee gait studies. This research focuses on the following question: “How do lower limb gait biomechanics of normal, healthy individuals compare to that of transtibial amputees, specifically looking at joint angles of the hip and knee?”The results from the hands-on study and the incorporated online research will further enhance the limited research relevant to gait analysis. This study will assist in defining the baseline kinematics of walking patterns while also facilitating to pinpoint the potential deviations of this everyday action.