Presentation Title

Challenges to balance on uneven terrain are exacerbated by the mechanical restriction of lower limb degrees of freedom

Advisor Information

Nicholas Stergiou

Location

ROOM 249

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

1-3-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

1-3-2019 3:15 PM

Abstract

Challenges to balance on uneven terrain are exacerbated by the mechanical restriction of lower limb degrees of freedom

JA Kent, JH Sommerfeld, KZ Takahashi, M Mukherjee, N Stergiou

Mechanical restriction of the ankle and lower extremity, as may be applied to ameliorate the effects of weakness, by nature limits the extent to which the limb can be adjusted and conform to any changing contours underfoot. The aim of this work was to explore the effect of foot and ankle restriction on locomotor performance on uneven ground. 18 unimpaired adults walked for 12 minutes on a flat (FT) and an uneven terrain (UT) treadmill under three conditions of unilateral lower limb restriction: no restriction (NONE), restriction of the foot (FOOT) and restriction of the foot and ankle (FANK). Motion capture markers on the feet and pelvis were used to compute step length (SL) and step width (SW) time series from the final 200 strides of the FT trial and all strides of the UT trial. The magnitude of variability of SL and SW increased with increasing restriction, and was further exacerbated by the uneven terrain. In the FANK condition a greater variability in SL on UT on the non-restricted side indicates poorer control during single limb stance of the restricted side. A decreased SL was observed on the non-restricted limb in all conditions, alongside a bilateral increase in SW; both potentially compensatory strategies to improve balance. Our results suggest that unilateral mechanical restriction further impairs balance during locomotion on uneven terrain. This may have implications for the mobility of individuals who walk with rigid ankle foot orthoses or lower limb prostheses.

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Mar 1st, 2:15 PM Mar 1st, 3:15 PM

Challenges to balance on uneven terrain are exacerbated by the mechanical restriction of lower limb degrees of freedom

ROOM 249

Challenges to balance on uneven terrain are exacerbated by the mechanical restriction of lower limb degrees of freedom

JA Kent, JH Sommerfeld, KZ Takahashi, M Mukherjee, N Stergiou

Mechanical restriction of the ankle and lower extremity, as may be applied to ameliorate the effects of weakness, by nature limits the extent to which the limb can be adjusted and conform to any changing contours underfoot. The aim of this work was to explore the effect of foot and ankle restriction on locomotor performance on uneven ground. 18 unimpaired adults walked for 12 minutes on a flat (FT) and an uneven terrain (UT) treadmill under three conditions of unilateral lower limb restriction: no restriction (NONE), restriction of the foot (FOOT) and restriction of the foot and ankle (FANK). Motion capture markers on the feet and pelvis were used to compute step length (SL) and step width (SW) time series from the final 200 strides of the FT trial and all strides of the UT trial. The magnitude of variability of SL and SW increased with increasing restriction, and was further exacerbated by the uneven terrain. In the FANK condition a greater variability in SL on UT on the non-restricted side indicates poorer control during single limb stance of the restricted side. A decreased SL was observed on the non-restricted limb in all conditions, alongside a bilateral increase in SW; both potentially compensatory strategies to improve balance. Our results suggest that unilateral mechanical restriction further impairs balance during locomotion on uneven terrain. This may have implications for the mobility of individuals who walk with rigid ankle foot orthoses or lower limb prostheses.