Walking Mechanics of Persons Who Use Reciprocating Gait OrthosesBy Johnson, William Brett; Fatone, Stefania; Gard, Steven A.; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 435-446
Publication Date: 2009
Case-series study investigated the dynamics of ambulation with reciprocating gait orthoses (RGOs) for the purpose of identifying the potential causes of the high metabolic energy cost associated with their use. For the study, data were acquired from 5 regular RGO users at a laboratory equipped with an 8-camera digital RealTime motion capture system for recording kinematic data and 6 plates embedded in a 10-meter walkway for measuring ground reaction force. Participants, who had lower-limb paralysis due to spinal cord injury or spina bifida, used walking aids including crutches, walkers, and parallel bars with the RGOs. Kinematics and kinetics were measured, and the moments and powers acting at the hips and shoulders calculated. All participants were found to walk with a flexed trunk and bore a large proportion of body weight through the arms during single support. Moments at the shoulder encouraged trunk extension, while moments at the hip resulted in trunk flexion. An extension moment acting on the hip at the beginning of swing was antagonistic to the goal of swing and contradicted the intent of the reciprocal link to advance the swing leg. These results suggest that characteristics of RGO ambulation are consistent across users. Study limitations and implications for further research are discussed.
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )
Link to text: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/09/46/3/johnson.html