JBiSE  Vol.6 No.2 , February 2013
How should we assess the mechanical properties of lower-limb prosthesis technology used in elite sport?—An initial investigation
Abstract: Despite recent controversy, it is not yet formally recognised how lower-limb prosthesis should be assessed for their performance. To assist in this process, experiments are undertaken to investigate the linearity, stiffness and assessment of feet based energy return prosthesis technology typically used for elite level high speed running. Through initial investigations, it is concluded that static load testing would not be recommended to specify or regulate energy return prostheses for athletes with a lower-limb amputation. Furthermore, an assessment of energy return technology when loaded under dynamic conditions demonstrates changes in mechanical stiffness due to bending and effective blade length variation during motion. Such radical changes of boundary conditions due to loading suggest that any assessment of lower-limb prosthesis technology in the future should use methods that do not assume linear mechanical stiffness. The research into such effects warrants further investigation in the future.
Cite this paper: Dyer, B. , Sewell, P. and Noroozi, S. (2013) How should we assess the mechanical properties of lower-limb prosthesis technology used in elite sport?—An initial investigation. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 116-123. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.62015.

[1]   Hafner, B., Sanders, J., Czerniecki, J. and Fergason, J. (2002) Trans-tibial energy-storage-and-return prosthetic devices: A review of energy concepts and a proposed nomenclature. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 39, 1-11.

[2]   Nolan, L. (2008) Carbon fibre prostheses and running in amputees: A review. Foot and Ankle Surgery, 14, 125 129. doi:10.1016/j.fas.2008.05.007

[3]   Dyer, B., Redwood, S., Noroozi, S. and Sewell, P. (2011) The fair use of lower-limb running prostheses. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 28, 16-26.

[4]   Dyer, B., Noroozi, S., Sewell, P. and Redwood, S. (2010) The design of lower-limb sports prostheses: Fair inclusion in disability sport. Disability and Society, 25, 593 602. doi:10.1080/09687599.2010.489309

[5]   Weyand, P., Sternlight, D., Bellizzi, M. and Wright, S. (2000) Faster top running speeds are achieved with greater ground forces not more rapid leg movements. Journal of Applied Physiology, 89, 1991-1999.

[6]   Arampatzis, A., Bruggemann, G. and Metzler, V. (1999) The effect of speed on leg stiffness and joint kinematics in human running. Journal of Biomechanics, 32, 1349 1353. doi:10.1016/S0021-9290(99)00133-5

[7]   Brughelli, M. and Cronin, J. (2008) A review of research on the mechanical stiffness in running and jumping: Methodology and implications. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 18, 417-426. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2008.00769.x

[8]   McMahon, T. and Cheng, G. (1990) The mechanics of running: How does stiffness couple with speed? Journal of Biomechanics, 23, 65-78. doi:10.1016/0021-9290(90)90042-2

[9]   Bruggemann, P., Arampatzis, A., Emrich, F. and Potthast, W. (2008) Biomechanics of double transtibial sprinting using dedicated sprinting prostheses. Sports Technology, 1, 220-227. doi:10.1002/jst.63

[10]   McGowan, C., Grabowski, A., McDermott, W., Herr, H. and Kram, R. (2012) Leg stiffness of sprinters using running-specific prostheses. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 9, 1975-1982. doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0877

[11]   Mero, A., Komi, P. and Gregor, R. (1992) Biomechanics of sprint running. Sports Medicine, 13, 376-392. doi:10.2165/00007256-199213060-00002

[12]   Farley, C. and Gonzalez, O. (1996) Leg stiffness and stride frequency in human running. Journal of Biomechanics, 29, 181-186. doi:10.1016/0021-9290(95)00029-1