Overall Greater Demands on the Musculoskeletal System at Multiple Walking Speeds in Service Members With Lower Limb Loss

Joseph G. Wasser, Julian C. Acasio, Ross H. Miller, Brad D. Hendershot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with lower limb loss often walk with altered/asymmetric movement mechanics, postulated as a catalyst for development of low back and knee pain. Here, the authors simultaneously investigated trunk-pelvic movement patterns and lower limb joint kinematics and kinetics among 38 males with traumatic, unilateral lower limb loss (23 transtibial and 15 transfemoral), and 15 males without limb loss, at a self-selected and 2 standardized (1.0 and 1.6 m/s) speeds. Individuals with versus without lower limb loss walked with greater trunk range of motion in the frontal and transverse planes at all speeds (despite ∼10% slower self-selected speeds). At all speeds, individuals with versus without limb loss exhibited +29% larger medial ground reaction forces, and at 1.6 m/s also exhibited +50% to 110% larger vertical hip power generation, +27% to 80% larger vertical hip power absorption, and +21% to 90% larger medial-lateral hip power absorption. Moreover, pervasive biomechanical differences between transtibial versus transfemoral limb loss identify amputation-level movement strategies. Overall, greater demands on the musculoskeletal system across walking speeds, particularly at the hip, knee, and low back, highlight potential risk factors for the development/recurrence of prevalent secondary musculoskeletal conditions (eg, joint degeneration and pain) following limb loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-530
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • amputation
  • chronic injury
  • gait kinematics
  • knee osteoarthritis
  • low back pain

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