Research Article| Volume 98, 105734, August 2022

Cross slope gait biomechanics for individuals with and without a unilateral transtibial amputation


      • Gait adaptations during cross-slopes were primarily in the lower extremities.
      • Gait adaptations were largely similar for those with and without a transtibial amputation.
      • An asymmetric gait may help to minimize upper body motion during cross-slopes.



      This research was conducted to better understand compensatory strategies during cross-slope walking for adults with and without a unilateral transtibial amputation.


      Fourteen individuals with unilateral transtibial amputation and 14 individuals with no lower limb amputation participated in this study. Motion and force data were captured while participants walked on a treadmill in a virtual reality environment for level and ± 5° cross slopes. Temporal-spatial parameters, kinematics (ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, trunk), and ground reaction forces were examined.


      Compared to level, participants had similar step width but slightly longer steps for top-cross-slope and slightly shorter steps for bottom-cross-slope. Top-cross-slope required a more flexed limb with ankle eversion, and bottom-cross-slope required a more extended limb with ankle inversion. Participants had similar lateral pelvis and trunk motion for all walking conditions, but slightly more anterior trunk lean for top cross-slope with more anterior trunk lean observed for individuals with a lower limb amputation than without lower limb amputation. Participants with a lower limb amputation compensated for limited prosthetic ankle-foot dorsiflexion on the top-cross-slope by increasing prosthetic side hip flexion, reducing intact ankle/knee flexion, and increasing intact push-off force.


      Gait adaptations during cross-slope walking were primarily in the lower extremities and were largely similar for those with and without a transtibial amputation. The information presented in this paper provides a better understanding of gait strategies adopted during cross-slope walking and can guide researchers and industry in prosthetic development.


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