A Portable System for Lower Limb Prosthesis Fitting and Balance Training in the Clinic

A.K. Thota, R. Jung
Florida International University, Florida, United States

Keywords: A Portable System for Lower Limb Prosthesis Fitting and Balance Training in the Clinic

For a civilian or a member of the armed forces with lower limb amputations, getting fitted with a prosthetic limb can improve quality of life and assist with re-integration into society and work. In existing clinical practices, most of the dynamic fitting process is still performed by qualitative verbal feedback and visual inspection. The final fitting parameters depend on the prosthetist’s expertise as well as amputee’s perception and tolerance, which makes this process highly subjective. Often, the fitting process leads to an acceptable sub-optimal fit that the amputee can tolerate. This sub-optimal fitting often leads to maladaptations such as lower-back pain and osteoarthritis in the intact knee and hip joints. Achieving optimum fit of the prosthetic limb is important for prosthetic function, particularly to regain proper weight bearing and walking without the fear of falling during activities of daily living. Preliminary results show that a portable system using wearable sensors could be integrated into a prosthetic clinic for providing objective measures for balance and gait assessment. These objective measurements could be used to improve the prosthetic fitting process for achieving optimal fitting leading to decrease the fear of “loss of balance” and improve the quality of life of amputees.