Comprehensive analysis of dynamic elastic response feet: Seattle Ankle/Lite Foot versus SACH foot

This study evaluated biomechanical and metabolic performance differences between two prosthetic foot designs in light of their mechanical properties. Ten unilateral below-knee amputee subjects, at least 1 year after amputation, capable of walking and running, were studied. Differences in heel and forefoot compliance explained differences in gait events and alignment. Increased efficiency of pushoff in the Seattle Ankle/Lite Foot exists as evidenced by the decrease loading on the opposite limb during double support and a less shortened step length on the sound side compared to the SACH foot. The natural frequency of oscillation for the prosthetic feet was determined to be too high to provide energy storage and release synchronized with kinematic requirements because neither metabolic cost savings nor differences in metabolic efficiency were found. Comfortable walking speed and the nadir of metabolic rate and efficiency are not different. Via accelerometer measurement, it was found that the more compliant and lossy SACH foot heel was less likely to transmit high frequency vibration.

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