Effects of a Powered Knee-Ankle Prosthesis on Amputee Hip Compensations: A Case Series

Toby Elery, Siavash Rezazadeh, Emma Reznick, Leslie Gray, Robert D. Gregg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Transfemoral amputee gait often exhibits compensations due to the lack of ankle push-off power and control over swing foot position using passive prostheses. Powered prostheses can restore this functionality, but their effects on compensatory behaviors, specifically at the residual hip, are not well understood. This paper investigates residual hip compensations through walking experiments with three transfemoral amputees using a low-impedance powered knee-ankle prosthesis compared to their day-to-day passive prosthesis. The powered prosthesis used impedance control during stance for compliant interaction with the ground, a time-based push-off controller to deliver high torque and power, and phase-based trajectory tracking during swing to provide user control over foot placement. Experiments show that when subjects utilized the powered ankle push-off, less mechanical pull-off power was required from the residual hip to progress the limb forward. Overall positive work at the residual hip was reduced for 2 of 3 subjects, and negative work was reduced for all subjects. Moreover, all subjects displayed increased step length, increased propulsive impulses on the prosthetic side, and improved impulse symmetries. Hip circumduction improved for subjects who had previously exhibited this compensation on their passive prosthesis. These improvements in gait, especially reduced residual hip power and work, have the potential to reduce fatigue and overuse injuries in persons with transfemoral amputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9268959
Pages (from-to)2944-2954
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Rehabilitation robotics
  • gait compensations
  • low-impedance actuators
  • powered prostheses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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