Prosthetics and Orthotics

Prosthetics and orthotics are fields of study in the allied health sciences. Both share a common rehabilitation goal of improving the mobility and independence of an individual with a physical disability.

Prosthetics concerns itself with the replacement of a lost limb segment (most commonly as a result of trauma or a vascular condition) with an artificial device (prosthesis). Orthotics on the other hand involves the use of external braces (orthosis) to provide support, proper alignment and improve function of regions of the body that have been weakened or deformed as a result of a musculoskeletal or neurological injury.

PI Title Description Co-PIs/ Students involved
Eric Lamberg, PT, Ed.D. Effects of prolonged acclimation to altered weight and center of mass of prosthesis on the performance of a person with trans-tibial amputation The loss of a lower limb is a traumatic life changing event and imposes restrictions on the individual’smobility. Through effective rehabilitation with a prosthetic device an individual with trans-tibialamputation (TTA) may achieve household and community mobility. Prosthetic control however is achallenging task, since only part of the limb remains to control the prosthetic device. Consequently, thegait of an individual with TTA is less efficient. The mass of a prosthesis can influence the energyconsumption and gait symmetry of individuals with TTA. Currently however, limited evidence existsabout ideal/optimal prosthesis mass, and it is unclear whether a light or heavy prosthesis is suitable forindividuals with TTA.This research project aims to examine the effects of increasing prosthesis mass on the performance ofindividuals with TTA. Using a longitudinal study design the protocol allows comparison of differentprosthesis masses. The performance of the participants is quantified using a variety of outcomemeasures (metabolic, electromyography, gait biomechanics and activity), which should provide a broad perspective on the topic. Ultimately the project hopes to provide evidence on prosthesis mass, whichcan be useful to clinicians in their prescription and fabrication decisions. Preliminary results from thisinvestigation suggest that increasing prosthesis mass (by a certain percentage) does not negativelyinfluence the metabolic cost and activity of individuals with TTA. Co-PIs:Kelly Warren Ph.D., Erin Vasudevan Ph.D., Mayank Seth, Ms; Student Volunteers:Ms. Laura Goyarts, Mr. James Galassi