Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 841 - 848

Research article
Multi-Axis Prosthetic Knee Resembles Alpine Skiing Movements of an Intact Leg
Ivan Demšar1, Jože Duhovnik1, Blaž Lešnik2, Matej Supej3, 
Author Information
1 Laboratory for Computer-Aided Design, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 Department of Alpine skiing, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
3 Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Matej Supej
✉ Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Gortanova 22, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Email: matej.supej@fsp.uni-lj.si
Publish Date
Received: 06-09-2013
Accepted: 15-10-2015
Published (online): 24-11-2015
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to analyse the flexion angles of the ski boot, ankle and knee joints of an above-knee prosthesis and to compare them with an intact leg and a control group of skiers. One subject with an above-knee amputation of the right leg and eight healthy subjects simulated the movement of a skiing turn by performing two-leg squats in laboratory conditions. By adding additional loads in proportion to body weight (BW; +1/3 BW, +2/3 BW, +3/3 BW), various skiing regimes were simulated. Change of Flexion Angle (CoFA) and Range of Motion (RoM) in the ski boot, ankle and knee joints were calculated and compared. An average RoM in the skiing boot on the side of prosthesis (4.4 ± 1.1°) was significantly lower compared to an intact leg (5.9 ± 1.8°) and the control group (6.5 ± 2.3°). In the ankle joint, the average RoM was determined to be 13.2±2.9° in the prosthesis, 12.7 ± 2.8° in an intact leg and 14.8±3.6 in the control group. However, the RoM of the knee joint in the prosthesis (42.2 ± 4.2°) was significantly larger than that of the intact leg (34.7 ± 4.4°). The average RoM of the knee joint in the control group was 47.8 ± 5.4°. The influences of additional loads on the kinematics of the lower extremities were different on the side of the prosthesis and on the intact leg. In contrast, additional loads did not produce any significant differences in the control group. Although different CoFAs in the ski boot, ankle and knee joints were used, an above-knee prosthesis with a built-in multi-axis prosthetic knee enables comparable leg kinematics in simulated alpine skiing.

Key words: Above-knee amputation, Alpine skiing, impairment, kinematics, prosthesis


           Key Points
  • The RoM in the ski boot on the side of the prosthetic leg was smaller than the RoM of the intact leg and the control group of healthy subjects.
  • The RoM in the ankle joint of prosthetic leg was comparable to that of the intact leg and the control group of healthy subjects.
  • The RoM in the prosthetic knee joint was greater than the RoM in the knee joint of the intact leg and smaller than that of the control group.
  • The total knee flexions in the laboratory measurements were comparable with field measurements.
  • Additional load affects the RoM of the ski boot, ankle and knee joints for the amputated skier in both legs. No significant influence from the additional load was found on the RoM in the control group of healthy subjects.
  • The above-knee prosthesis with a multiple-axis prosthetic knee reproduces the alpine skiing kinematics of an intact leg.
 
 
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