• Reducing Gait Compensation and Osteoarthritis in Unilateral Amputees Through Prosthesis Design

      Danowsky, Joseph; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      The objective of this project proposal is to reduce the secondary physical condition of osteoarthritis in the intact leg in unilateral amputees. Osteoarthritis prevalence is greatly increased in amputees using lower limb prostheses due to compensation while walking. By reducing the compensation in gait and thereby the forces that act on the intact leg, the risk of osteoarthritis is also reduced. Presented solutions to this problem involve the specific design and material properties of the device. A microprocessor-controlled knee joint, controlled energy storage and return foot, and optimization of stiffness in the foot prosthetic are all viable solutions that successfully reduce compensation. By comparison of studies conducted of each solution, the controlled energy storage and return prosthetic foot is determined to be the best option. This design greatly reduces forces on the intact leg and creates higher gait symmetry. Despite the more advanced technology and potentially higher cost, implementation of this solution will promote multiple health benefits in the lives of amputees, in addition to reducing compensation and osteoarthritis.