Impact of a stance phase microprocessorcontrolled knee prosthesis on level walking in lower functioning individuals with a transfemoral amputation

Valerie J. Eberly, Sara J. Mulroy, Joanne K. Gronley, Jacquelin Perry, William J. Yule, Judith M. Burnfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Background: For individuals with transfemoral amputation, walking with a prosthesis presents challenges to stability and increases the demand on the hip of the prosthetic limb. Increasing age or comorbidities magnify these challenges. Computerized prosthetic knee joints improve stability and efficiency of gait, but are seldom prescribed for less physically capable walkers who may benefit from them. Objective: To compare level walking function while wearing a microprocessor-controlled knee (C-Leg Compact) prosthesis to a traditionally prescribed non-microprocessor-controlled knee prosthesis for Medicare Functional Classification Level K-2 walkers. Study design: Crossover. Methods: Stride characteristics, kinematics, kinetics, and electromyographic activity were recorded in 10 participants while walking with non-microprocessor-controlled knee and Compact prostheses. Results: Walking with the Compact produced significant increase in velocity, cadence, stride length, single-limb support, and heel-rise timing compared to walking with the non-microprocessor-controlled knee prosthesis. Hip and thigh extension during late stance improved bilaterally. Ankle dorsiflexion, knee extension, and hip flexion moments of the prosthetic limb were significantly improved. Conclusions: Improvements in walking function and stability on the prosthetic limb were demonstrated by the K-2 level walkers when using the C-Leg Compact prosthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014



  • Electromyography
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Microprocessor-controlled knee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation

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