Introduction: The alignment of a prosthesis is clinically determined based on observations by clinicians and the subjective perception of amputees during gait. However, this process has been reported to be unreliable. Socket reaction moment has been reported to be significantly impacted by alignment changes, but the impact of these alignment changes on other gait parameters is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coronal alignment changes of a transtibial prosthesis on socket reaction moment, spatiotemporal parameters, and perceptions of alignment during gait in amputees.

Methods: Nine individuals with transtibial amputation participated in this study. Socket reaction moment and spatiotemporal parameters (step time, step length, step width, single limb support time, cadence, and gait speed) were measured under nine coronal alignment conditions (angulation: ±3°, ±6°, translation: ±5 mm, ±10 mm, and baseline) using a three-dimensional motion capture system (Vicon) and an embedded load-cell system (Europa). In addition, subjective perceptions of alignment were examined.

Results: Coronal alignment changes of the transtibial prostheses demonstrated significant changes in socket reaction moment; however, no significant changes were found with spatiotemporal parameters or the amputee’s perception.

Conclusion: Measurement of socket reaction moment, along with the embedded load-cell system, may be a better metric for tuning the coronal alignment of transtibial prostheses compared to spatiotemporal parameters and amputee’s perceptions.

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Published in Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, v. 5, p. 1-10.

© The Author(s) 2018

Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

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