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POLYCENTRIC EXOPROSTHETIC KNEE JOINTS – EXTENT OF SHORTENING DURING SWING PHASE

Thomas Maximilian Köhler, Malte Bellmann, Siegmar Blumentritt
CANADIAN PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS JOURNAL , Volume 3; doi:10.33137/cpoj.v3i1.33768

Abstract: BACKGROUND: An often assumed advantage of polycentric knee joints compared to monocentric ones is the improved ground clearance during swing phase due to the geometric shortening of the lower leg segment (LLS). OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether polycentric knee joints considerably improve ground clearance and to evaluate the influence of prosthetic alignment on the extent of ground clearance. METHODOLOGY: 11 polycentric and 2 monocentric knee joints were attached to a rigid, stationary testing device. Shortening of the LLS and the resulting ground clearance during knee flexion were measured. Prosthetic components were mounted at the same height and the anterior-posterior position was in accordance with the manufacturer's alignment recommendations. FINDINGS: Shortening of up to 14.7 (SD=0.0) mm at the instance of minimal ground clearance during swing phase was measured. One knee joint elongated by 4.4 (SD=0.0) mm. Measurements of the ground clearance demonstrated differences up to 25.4 (SD=0.0) mm. One monocentric knee joint provided more ground clearance when compared to 8 of the polycentric knee joints investigated. CONCLUSION: Only some polycentric knee joints shorten appreciably during swing phase. With an optimized prosthetic alignment and a well-designed swing phase control, a monocentric knee joint may generate greater ground clearance compared to a polycentric knee joint. LAYMAN’S ABSTRACT Tripping is a safety risk for amputees and it is mainly affected by ground clearance during swing phase. An often assumed advantage of polycentric knee joints compared to monocentric ones is the improved ground clearance during swing phase due to the geometric shortening of the lower leg segment (LLS). Based on this statement safety benefits for above knee-amputees due to reduced danger of stumbling are discussed commonly for the entire group of polycentric knee joints. We believe that this statement is not true for all polycentric knee joint designs. Therefore, we analyzed 11 polycentric and two monocentric knee joints in a rigid, stationary testing device with their individual prosthetic alignments according to the manufacturer’s alignment recommendations. Shortening of the LLS and the resulting ground clearance during knee flexion were measured. The results showed shortening effects of up to 15 mm. One knee joint elongated by 4 mm. One monocentric knee joint provided more ground clearance when compared to 8 of the polycentric knee joints investigated. We conclude, that only some polycentric knee joints shorten appreciably during swing phase. With an optimized prosthetic alignment a monocentric knee joint may generate greater ground clearance compared to a polycentric knee joint. Article PDF Link: https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/cpoj/article/view/33768/26547 How To Cite: Köhler T.M, Bellmann M, Blumentritt S. Polycentric Exoprosthetic Knee Joints – Extent of Shortening during Swing Phase. Canadian Prosthetics & Orthotics Journal. 2020;Volume3, Issue1, No.5. https://doi.org/10.33137/cpoj.v3i1.33768 Corresponding Author: Thomas Maximilian Köhler, MScOttobock: Hermann-Rein-Straße 2a, 37075, Göttingen.E-mail: [email protected]: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5063-121X
Keywords: alignment / shortening / Ground Clearance / polycentric knee joints

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