Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Sarah Clarke


This study compared lower limb mechanics in unilateral transtibial amputees and able bodied controls during strenuous activities of daily living (ADL). Seven unilateral transtibial amputee and five matched-abled bodied control participants executed stair descent on a four-step rehabilitation staircase followed by one of two anticipated directional tasks. Force, kinematics and gait parameters were chosen to compare mechanics and stride characteristics between the residual limb, intact limb and able-bodied dominant limb between a straight walking condition and a non linear directional movement (wide-step cutting task). Results indicated that significant compensatory mechanisms occurred in the intact limb, perhaps from decreased load tolerance in the prosthetic limb. Compensatory mechanisms exhibited in the intact limb and the hip joint of the prosthetic limb exhibited mechanics that may indicate accelerated joint degeneration compared to able-bodied mechanics. Differences in the mechanics of limbs appear to be more pronounced during stair descent and a directional task compared level-ground walking. This may be a useful approach to identify and correct harmful mechanics.

Access Type

Open Access

IRB.pdf (75 kB)

Included in

Biomechanics Commons