Single subject analysis of individual responses to prosthetic modifications based on passive dynamic walking model

  • Vahideh Moradi
    Iran-Helal Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
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  • Mohammad Ali Sanjari
    Corresponding author at: Rehabilitation Research Center, Department of Basic Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
    Department of Basic Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, and Biomechanics Lab, Rehabilitation Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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  • Nick Stergiou
    Center for Research in Human Movement Variability, Department of Biomechanics, Division of Biomechanics and Research Development, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE, United States

    Department of Environmental Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, United States
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      • Group analysis masks individual variation of amputees in response to modifications.
      • Based on single subject analysis, asymmetric prosthesis improved step length.
      • Asymmetric prosthesis did not improve stability and variability.



      Group statistical analysis may mask individual differences in response to interaction with rehabilitative devices such as prostheses. This study sets out to evaluate the effect of asymmetric prosthesis using a single subject methodology on individuals with unilateral transfemoral amputation.


      Acceleration data of 17 participants with unilateral transfemoral amputation were collected using a triaxial accelerometer attached at the L3 level of the spine during level ground walking under four prosthesis conditions: 1) no added mass; 2) the knee joint relocated downwards by 18% of the total shank length, shank mass decreased by 68%, thigh mass increased by 7%; 3) the knee joint relocated downwards by 37% of the total shank length, shank mass decreased by 68%, thigh mass increased by 7%, and 4) thigh mass increased 17%, shank mass decreased by 38%. Step length, step time, step length variability, step time variability and Floquet multiplier were statistically assessed.


      The single subject analysis highlighted that under prosthetic modifications, intact limb step length was increased and prosthetic step length was deceased in most participants (n > 9). No significant changes were observed in Floquet multiplier (n > 14), step length (n > 6) and step time variability (n > 9) across all conditions.


      Single subject analysis showed that in response to the immediate effect of asymmetric prosthesis, increase in the intact limb step length and decrease in the prosthetic limb step length emerged as a dominant strategy for most participants. Regarding Floquet multiplier, step length, and step time variability, our prosthetic modifications did not produce the anticipated effects.


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