Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Netherlands, developed a stumble tracker to help measure whether people using osseointegrated prostheses stumble less frequently than users of socket prostheses.
Dylan den Hartog, a master student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at TU Delft, developed the tracker in collaboration with surgeon Oscar Van Waes, MD, who has been performing osseointegration surgeries for several years. The tracker is about the size of a matchbox and measures leg acceleration and rotation.
Den Hartog tested the device by attaching it to the lower leg of ten healthy volunteers who were made to stumble over unexpected obstacles on a treadmill while wearing a safety harness. Den Hartog used the data from the experiment to develop an algorithm that was able to correctly detect 273 of the 276 stumbling moments.
“In addition to distinguishing between stumbling and daily movements such as climbing stairs, we were also able to distinguish between two types of reactions to stumbling,” he said.
The next step is to use the tracker on people with a standard socket prosthesis and an osseointegrated prosthesis and measure the difference. Van Waes hopes further testing will show that people with osseointegration stumble less than people who use socket prostheses.
Editor’s note: This story was adapted from materials provided by TU Delft. To see video of the testing, visit the TU Delft website.
To read more about stumble testing for prosthesis users, visit “Engineers Test Stumble Responses To Improve Prostheses.“