Journal of Biomechanics

Asymmetry of peak plantar pressure in transfemoral amputees during indoor and outdoor walking

H-J. Choi, J. Choi, G. Kim, H. Sung Kim, C-Y. Ko

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Institute, Incheon, Republic of Korea


Transfemoral amputee, Peak plantar pressure, Asymmetry, Outdoor walking, Gait


This study investigates the differences in peak plantar pressure between the amputated and intact limbs of transfemoral amputees when walking outdoors. Ten non-amputees (aged 24.4 ± 2.0 years, 176.9 ± 2.5 cm, 72.3 ± 7.9 kg) and six transfemoral amputees (48.5 ± 6.3 years, 173.8 ± 4.2 cm, 82.0 ± 11.9 kg) participated in the study. Over approximately 1.6 km, the participants encountered various obstacles, including stairs, uneven surfaces, hills, and level ground, both indoors and outdoors. Throughout the walking session, the peak plantar pressure in both feet was monitored using wearable insole sensors. For all terrains, the percentage asymmetry was determined. Significant changes in peak plantar pressure asymmetry were found between the intact and amputated limbs, particularly when walking on level ground indoors, descending stairs, and on steep slopes outdoors (all p < 0.05). These findings highlight the greater peak plantar pressure asymmetry in transfemoral amputees when walking outside. In addition, this study revealed that not all terrains contribute uniformly to this asymmetry.

Moticon's Summary

The study investigates gait asymmetry in transfemoral amputees (TFAs) compared to non-amputees (NAs) during outdoor walking, focusing on peak plantar pressure across various terrains. Using Moticon sensor insoles, researchers assessed ten NAs and six TFAs peak plantar pressure during walking on a 1.6 km route with diverse terrains. Results indicated that TFAs displayed significantly higher asymmetry in peak plantar pressure, particularly on indoor level ground, uneven terrain, steep ascents, and stairs. This asymmetry varied with terrain type, highlighting differences in environmental conditions and walking strategies.

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