Footing Key in Stair Ascent for Those With Chopart Amputation

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A study published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International evaluated people with a Chopart amputation utilizing a clamshell device during stair ascent in an effort to identify potential biomechanical deficits. According to the study's authors, the results reinforced the importance of adequate foot leverage and ankle function in cases of partial foot amputation, particularly in transfer situations such as stair ascent.

Six subjects with unilateral Chopart amputations and 17
unimpaired subjects participated in 3D-motion analysis while ascending stairs in a step-over-step manner.

The data showed that during weight acceptance, the involved side showed increased external hip-flexing and reduced knee-flexing moments, and the sound side showed higher ankle power than in the control group; the sound side showed higher external knee-flexing, dorsi-flexing, and hip-adducting moments than the controls during weight acceptance.

The mechanism observed on the involved side differed from that in controls but was comparable to the mechanisms used by subjects with transtibial amputations reported in the literature. However, compensatory movements on the sound side take place at the ankle and knee joint, differing from subjects with more proximal amputations.

If ankle range of motion is adequate, prosthetic and orthotic devices that combine shank leverage with a hinged spring mechanism at the ankle may be promising, the authors concluded.