2.23 Safe travels: Gait strategies and features of prosthesis design that support balance when walking with a transfemoral prosthesis

Location: Guadalajara 2, Ground floor



Walking with a transfemoral prosthesis carries inherent risks to balance due to the lack of joint control and sensory feedback when using conventional prosthetic systems. For this reason, people with lower limb loss frequently experience falls and fall-related injuries, many of which occur while walking. Transfemoral prosthesis users must rely on their residual anatomy and compensatory mechanisms to manage prosthesis motion and ground forces to ensure forward progression, knee stability, and foot clearance. In this symposium, we will discuss aspects of gait that transfemoral prosthesis users demonstrate to maintain balance across different mobility scenarios and how features of the prosthesis can support safe movement. Additionally, we will introduce clinical and biomechanical measures used to quantify balance and their respective insight into the question of gait stability. Our symposium will discuss three specific topics through a series of three talks: 1) the management of ground forces and limb segment dynamics to support balance in walking, 2) how combinations of different commercial prosthetic feet and knees interact with the user to support balance and mobility, and 3) the influence of systematically adjusting features of prosthesis design on aspects of safe mobility. This symposium will be relevant to both researchers and clinicians with an interest in measuring and promoting safe mobility for transfemoral prosthesis users.

Statement of the objective / learning objectives

1. Understand biomechanical challenges of maintaining safe gait for transfemoral prosthesis users.

2. Identify elements of transfemoral prosthesis design that contribute to walking safely.

3. Describe clinical and biomechanical measures of balance and gait stability.


Matthew Major
Northwestern University, Chicago, USA


Cleveland Barnett
Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Event Location

Guadalajara 2, Ground floor