The effect a cosmetic cover has on the swing phase of a transfemoral prosthesis during level walking : a pilot study

Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2012
Thesis identifier
  • T13267
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Cosmetic covering of the prosthesis is one of the stages in getting the patient to be confidently rehabilitated back into society. The cosmetic covers are made from polyurethane (PU) foam, a versatile polymer material. However, PU foam does not come without its problems. It is found that when the amputee walks it causes interference with the prostheses components and hence causes changes to the amputee's gait. In research studies, cosmetic covers of the lower limb prostheses are often briefly mentioned but not fully explored or even omitted. It is hypothesised that the cosmetic cover does cause a certain effect on the amputee gait especially during the swing phase. However, this conclusion is largely drawn from anecdotal information from prosthetists and amputees and therefore has not been scientifically verified. In this thesis, this hypothesis was tested by recruiting six transfemoral amputee subjects. Four scenarios were investigated: Bare prosthesis (no cosmetic cover), subject's own cosmetic cover with stockings, new cosmetic cover (no stockings) and new cosmetic cover with stockings. The VICON system was used to motion capture the markers attached to the subject's lower limb on each walk trials of each scenario. The parameters investigated were: knee flexion range, knee angle during one gait cycle, step length, stride length and velocity. Successful walk trials were then loaded into a MATLAB program for further analysis and the results of each scenario were compared within each subject. The results compared showed differences in the parameters of each scenario when compared with each other. This however, varied from subject to subject and therefore further research is needed to provide conclusive results.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2012
Former identifier
  • 948605