Crossover Feet Not Ideal for All Prosthesis-using Children

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To help children with lower-limb prostheses keep up with their peers, a research team collected date to determine if a pediatric crossover foot was a promising prosthetic alternative for children engaging in high-intensity movements necessary for active play.

Four children with lower-limb amputations or deficiencies participated in the study. Measurements were taken at baseline with the prescribed prosthesis and six weeks later with the crossover foot. Walking speed, energy cost of walking, anaerobic muscle power, stair climbing speed, ankle power, and cosmesis were evaluated.

Two children had increased walking speed with the same energy cost, one child had decreased speed with increased energy cost, and one child had the same speed with decreased energy cost. Muscle power increased for three of the four children, and ankle power increased for all children while using the crossover foot compared to the prescribed prosthesis. Two children reported knee pain or feeling excessive knee flexion when running with the crossover foot. One child reported negative feelings toward cosmesis of the crossover foot.

The study suggests crossover feet may benefit active children by improving walking and running performance, and decreasing energy cost. However, knee pain reports or negative feelings toward the atypical design suggest the crossover foot may not be ideal for every child, according to the authors.

The study was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.