Energy storage and release of prosthetic feet: Part 1: biomechanical analysis related to user benefits

K. Postema, Hermanus J. Hermens, J. de Vries, Hubertus F.J.M. Koopman, W.H. Eisma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


The energy storing and releasing behaviour of 2 energy storing feet (ESF) and 2 conventional prosthetic feet (CF) were compared (ESF: Otto Bock Dynamic Pro and Hanger Quantum; CF: Otto Bock Multi Axial and Otto Bock Lager). Ten trans-tibial amputees were selected. The study was designed as a double-blind, randomised trial. For gait analysis a VICON motion analysis system was used with 2 AMTI force platforms. A special measuring device was used for measuring energy storage and release of the foot during a simulated step. The impulses of the anteroposterior component of the ground force showed small, statistically non-significant differences (deceleration phase: 22.7–23.4 Ns; acceleration phase: 17.0–18.4 Ns). The power storage and release phases as well as the net results also showed small differences (maximum difference in net result is 0.03 J kg−1). It was estimated that these differences lead to a maximum saving of 3% of metabolic energy during walking. It was considered unlikely that the subjects would notice this difference. It was concluded that during walking differences in mechanical energy expenditure of this magnitude are probably not of clinical relevance. Ankle power, as an indicator for energy storage and release gave different results to the energy storage and release as measured with the special test device, especially during landing response. In the biomechanical model (based on inverse dynamics) used in the gait analysis the deformation of the material is not taken into consideration and hence this method of gait analysis is probably not suitable for calculation of shock absorption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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