A model-based approach to stabilizing crutch supported paraplegic standing by artifical hip joint stiffness

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The prerequisites for stable crutch supported standing were analyzed in this paper. For this purpose, a biomechanical model of crutch supported paraplegic stance was developed assuming the patient was standing with extended knees. When using crutches during stance, the crutches will put a position constraint on the shoulder, thus reducing the number of degrees of freedom. Additional hip-joint stiffness was applied to stabilize the hip joint and, therefore, to stabilize stance. The required hip-joint stiffness for changing crutch placement and hip-joint offset angle was studied under static and dynamic conditions. Modeling results indicate that, by using additional hip-joint stiffness, stable crutch supported paraplegic standing can be achieved, both under static as well as dynamic situations. The static equilibrium postures and the stability under perturbations were calculated to be dependent on crutch placement and stiffness applied. However, postures in which the hip joint was in extension (C postures) appeared to the most stable postures. Applying at least 60 N /spl middot/ m/rad hip-joint stiffness gave stable equilibrium postures in all cases. Choosing appropriate hip-joint offset angles, the static equilibrium postures changed to more erect postures, without causing instability or excessive arm forces to occur.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)443-451
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • IR-46311
  • METIS-214555

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