Share this article on:

Use of a Powered Versus a Passive Prosthetic System for a Person with Bilateral Amputations during Level-Ground Walking

Wolf, Erik J. PhD; Pruziner, Alison L. DPT

JPO: Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics: July 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 166–170
doi: 10.1097/JPO.0000000000000029
Case Report

ABSTRACT Persons who have had bilateral lower-limb amputations, especially transfemoral amputation, must use biomechanical compensations to ambulate. Compensations during gait produce abnormal loads on the body and may reduce efficiency. Recent prosthetic advances have attempted to mimic the lost musculature by adding power to knee and ankle systems. A patient with bilateral amputations (right transtibial, left transfemoral) was evaluated 10 months after injury. The patient initially presented wearing a passive prosthetic system and was then fit with a powered prosthetic system and allowed to acclimate for 1 month. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected while the patient walked overground wearing both systems. The patient showed greater symmetry of step length, decreased vertical ground reaction force, and increased limb transition work using the powered system. Biomechanical variables showed some improvements when using a powered prosthetic system, which may indicate increased mechanical efficiency and decreased lower-limb loading.

ERIK J. WOLF, PHD, and ALISON L. PRUZINER, DPT, are affiliated with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the DoD-VA Extremity and Amputation Center of Excellence, Bethesda, Maryland.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or United States Government.

Correspondence to: Erik J. Wolf, PhD, DoD/VA Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence (EACE), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Ave, America Building, Room B320, Bethesda, MD 20889; email:

© 2014 by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.