ORLANDO, Fla. – Prosthetic running feet do not give amputee runners an unfair advantage compared with non-amputee runners, according to Larry Mengelkoch, PhD, PT, who presented study results at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium.
“For distance type running, transtibial amputees using the blade running specific [energy storing and return] ESAR feet do not gain an energy cost advantage. The amputees have an increased energy cost at any given running speed compared with non-amputees and peak running speed for amputees was slower at VO2 peak compared to non-amputees,” Mengelkoch said, here.
Researchers enrolled three male transtibial amputees and three non-amputee controls. Each amputee was tested on the Solid Ankle Cushioned Heel (SACH) foot, the Renegade foot and the carbon fiber Nitro blade foot (Freedom Innovations, Irvine, Calif.). They measured gait efficiency and energy expenditure in oxygen uptake (VO2) of walking and running for all participants on a treadmill.
Walking at fixed speeds resulted in similar mean energy costs among the prosthetic feet, he said, but significantly increased energy costs for TTAs compared with the controls. Energy expenditure was greater for amputees at any given speed than non-amputees.
Mengelkoh said that running at fixed speeds resulted in less energy expenditure with the Nitro foot compared with the SACH and the Renegade foot but overall energy expenditure was greater for TTAs at any given speed or with any foot compared with non-amputees.
The amputee group had significant functional differences, particularly in peak speed the compared with non-amputees. Gait efficiency was similar among the prosthetic feet for the transtibial amputees, but significantly less for the transtibial amputees using the SACH and Renegade feet, compared with the non-amputees. The transtibial amputee group also had better gait efficiency with the Nitro foot compared with the SACH and Renegade foot, but overall, gait efficiency and speed were significantly less for the transtibial amputees vs. non-amputees, he said.
For more information:
Mengelkoch L. Paper F20. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. Feb. 20-23, 2013. Orlando, Fla.
Disclosure: Mengelkoch has no relevant financial disclosures.