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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Kinetic analysis of supine stepping for early rehabilitation of walking

Fang, Juan and Galen, Sujay and Vuckovic, Aleksandra and Conway, Bernard A and Hunt, Kenneth J (2014) Kinetic analysis of supine stepping for early rehabilitation of walking. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 228 (5). pp. 456-464. ISSN 0954-4119

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Abstract

In order to promote gait restoration in patients who cannot maintain an upright position in the early post-injury phase, a Gait Orthosis for Early Rehabilitation was proposed for supine stepping. Although supine stepping can generate lower-limb joint trajectories which are close to normal gait, the inter-segmental dynamics of supine stepping are believed to be different from those of upright walking. Furthermore, training in a supine position requires a certain loading on the foot to mimic the ground reaction forces, where different loading amplitudes influence the joint dynamics. This work analysed the kinetics of supine stepping with variable loading and investigated structural modifications for the Gait Orthosis for Early Rehabilitation system to address this kinetic difference. Three able-bodied subjects walked overground while their walking performance was recorded. Based on the experimental data, a leg-linkage model was developed to simulate the dynamics of upright walking. This model was then rotated by 90° with different foot loadings to investigate the kinetics of supine stepping. Compared to upright walking, supine stepping had a large kinetic difference at the hip joint due to the supine leg position. The ankle joint during supine stepping was sensitive to the force amplitude simulated on the foot. Thus, the Gait Orthosis for Early Rehabilitation system requires a leg frame to compensate the position change and a shoe platform to activate the leg muscles, especially at the ankle joint. This study provided important structural information for the further development of the Gait Orthosis for Early Rehabilitation system.