Study: Changes in walking speed do not affect minimum toe clearance for transtibial amputees

Changes in walking speed do not have an effect on minimum toe clearance for transtibial amputees, according to recently published data. Additionally, the lack of increase in minimum toe clearance on the prosthetic side at higher walking speeds may increase the risk of tripping.

Researchers examined 10 physically active male unilateral transtibial amputees between ages 36 years and 60 years walking at slow, customary and fast speeds. They determined the minimum toe clearance as well as the timings of minimum toe clearance and peak swing velocity for both the prosthetic and intact limbs.

Peak swing velocity consistently occurred after the point of minimum toe clearance for both limbs across all walking speeds, which suggests that swing phase intersegmental coordination is unaffected by transtibial amputation. Determining the instant of peak swing-foot velocity will also consistently identify the time and location of minimum toe clearance, according to study results.


Asha A, et al. Prosthet Orthot Int. 2015; doi:10.1177/0309364613515493.

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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