Quasi-stiffness of the knee joint is influenced by walking on a destabilising terrain

Foster, Aaron, Hudson, Penny E. and Smith, Neal A. (2020) Quasi-stiffness of the knee joint is influenced by walking on a destabilising terrain. The Knee, 27 (6). pp. 1889-1898. ISSN 0968-0160

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Predictive models have been devised to estimate the necessary quasi-stiffness that a transfemoral prosthesis should be set to aligning the body and gait parameters of the user. Current recommendations exist only for walking over level ground. This study aimed to ascertain whether walking across destabilising terrain influences the quasi-stiffness of the knee joint thus influencing prosthetic engineering.

Ten healthy males (age: 25.1 ± 2.5 years; mean ± sd, height: 1.78 ± 0.05m, weight: 84.40 ± 11.02kg) performed 14 gait trials. Seven trials were conducted over even ground and seven over 20 mm ballast. Three-dimensional motion capture and ground reaction force were collected. Paired samples t-tests and Wilcoxon signed ranked test compared variables including; quasi-stiffness, gait speed, stride length and stride width.

Quasi-stiffness (d = 0.562, P = 0.001) and stride width (d = 0.909, P < 0.001) were significantly greater in the destabilising terrain condition. Gait speed (r = -0.731, P = 0.001) was significantly greater in the control condition. No significant difference was seen in stride length (d = 0.583, P = 0.016).

An increase in quasi-stiffness when walking across destabilising terrain was attributed to a magnified shock absorption mechanism, facilitating an increased flexion angle during the stance phase. This causes a lower centre of mass resulting in the musculoskeletal system having to produce a greater knee extensor moment to prevent the knee collapsing. Therefore, transfemoral prostheses should be tuned to apply increased extension moments if ambulation is to occur on a destabilising terrain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Quasi-stiffness; gait analysis; knee; prosthesis; transfemoral
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Departments > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Neal Smith
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2020 14:59
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2020 14:59
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/5485

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