• Impact of combined microprocessor control of the prosthetic knee and ankle on gait termination in unilateral trans-femoral amputees. Limb mechanical work performed on centre of mass to terminate gait on a declined surface using linx prosthetic device

      Buckley, John G.; Abdulhasan, Zahraa M. (University of BradfordDivision of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, 2018)
      The major objective of this thesis was to investigate how the use of a recently developed microprocessor-controlled limb system altered the negative mechanical work done by the intact and prosthetic limb when trans-femoral amputees terminated gait. Participants terminated gait on a level surface from their self-selected walking speed and on declined surface from slow and customary speeds, using limb system prosthesis with microprocessor active or inactive. Limb negative work, determined as the integral of the negative mechanical (external) limb power during the braking phase, was compared across surface, speed and microprocessor conditions. Halting gait was achieved predominantly from negative work done by the trailing/intact. Trailing versus leading limb mechanical work imbalance was similar to how able body individuals halted gait. Importantly, the negative limb work performed on the prosthetic side when terminating gait on declined surface was increased when the microprocessor was active for both slow and customary speeds (no difference on level surface) but no change on intact limb. This indicates the limb system’s ‘ramp-descent mode’ effectively/dynamically altered the hydraulic resistances at the respective joints with evidence indicating changes at the ankle were the key factor for increasing the prosthetic limb negative work contribution. Findings suggest that trans-femoral amputees became more assured using their prosthetic limb to arrest body centre of mass velocity when the limb system’s microprocessor was active. More generally findings suggest, trans-femoral amputees should obtain clinically significant biomechanical benefits from using a limb system prosthesis for locomotion involving adapting to their everyday walking where adaptations to an endlessly changing environment are required.