THE IMPORTANCE OF ADDITIONAL MID SWING TOE CLEARANCE FOR AMPUTEES
Increased prosthetic hip to toe distance and insufficient mid swing toe clearance of a prosthetic foot is a well-recognized inadequacy for lower limb prosthesis users with wide and possible grave consequences on their ambulation capabilities. Most important are increased risk of falls and abnormal compensatory gait patterns with secondary unwanted physical effect like generally deceased mobility, muscular-skeletal pain and joint degeneration, i.e. osteoarthritis, with possible significant health economic effect. Even though insufficient toe clearance can be device related and technically or even intentionally induced for attaining equal length of the lower extremities in a neutral standing position or the stance phase, it is important to be aware of available technical solutions that can counteract the problem, like swing phase dorsiflexing feet, vacuum suspension systems, polycentric axis knees rather than single-axis knees and adequate knee flexion in early swing and swing-flexion assistance in the case of bionic knees.
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