Oscillation and reaction board techniques for estimating inertial properties of a below-knee prosthesis

Jeremy D. Smith, Abbie E. Ferris, Gary D. Heise, Richard N. Hinrichs, Philip E. Martin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Scopus citations


    The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) demonstrate a technique that can be used to directly estimate the inertial properties of a below-knee prosthesis, and 2) contrast the effects of the proposed technique and that of using intact limb inertial properties on joint kinetic estimates during walking in unilateral, transtibial amputees. An oscillation and reaction board system was validated and shown to be reliable when measuring inertial properties of known geometrical solids. When direct measurements of inertial properties of the prosthesis were used in inverse dynamics modeling of the lower extremity compared with inertial estimates based on an intact shank and foot, joint kinetics at the hip and knee were significantly lower during the swing phase of walking. Differences in joint kinetics during stance, however, were smaller than those observed during swing. Therefore, researchers focusing on the swing phase of walking should consider the impact of prosthesis inertia property estimates on study outcomes. For stance, either one of the two inertial models investigated in our study would likely lead to similar outcomes with an inverse dynamics assessment.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere50977
    JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
    Issue number87
    StatePublished - May 8 2014


    • Amputee locomotion
    • Below-knee prosthesis
    • Bioengineering
    • Issue 87
    • Prosthesis inertia
    • Transtibial amputee

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Neuroscience
    • General Chemical Engineering
    • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • General Immunology and Microbiology


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