Bondgraph modelling and simulation of the dynamic behaviour of above-knee prostheses

P.G. van de Veen, W. van der Tempel, J. de Vreiss

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A mathematical model was used to investigate the dynamic behaviour of an above-knee (AK) prosthesis in the swing phase and to analyse the influence of mass and mass distribution on the maximal stump load and the required energy. The model consists of a bondgraph model of the prosthesis and a “walking” model which predicts the walking velocity, step length and the femoral trajectory. Equipment was developed to measure the inertial properties of the components of the prosthesis. Through computer simulation, stickdiagrams of the swing phase and graphs of the variation with time of the hip and stump forces were obtained. It was found that for a normal AK prosthesis with a knee-lock mechanism the axial stump load is greatest at the beginning and at the end of the swing phase. At a walking velocity of 5 km/hr the maximum axial stump load amounts to 2.1 times the static weight of the prosthesis. The maximum axial stump force appeared to be almost directly proportional to the total mass of the prosthesis but independent of the mass distribution. The required energy also increased with the mass of the prosthesis but is' dependent on mass distribution. Because of their comparable weights the influence of the shoe is almost equal to the influence of the prosthetic foot. Thus lightweight shoes should be used with lightweight prosthetic feet in order to add to their advantages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987


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