Pelvic obliquity as a compensatory mechanism leading to lower energy recovery: Characterization among the types of prostheses in subjects with transfemoral amputation

Stefano Filippo Castiglia, Alberto Ranavolo, Tiwana Varrecchia, Cristiano De Marchis, Antonella Tatarelli, Fabrizio Magnifica, Lorenzo Fiori, Carmela Conte, Francesco Draicchio, Silvia Conforto, Mariano Serrao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Subjects with transfemoral amputation (TFA) show an asymmetric gait pattern associated with a decreased ability to recover mechanical energy and an increased metabolic cost of walking. Research question: This study aimed to identify the spatio-temporal and kinematic gait variables correlated with mechanical energy values in subjects with TFA and to observe the ability of the identified parameters to discriminate between TFA and controls according to the type of prosthesis. Methods: The gait of 40 subjects with TFA was evaluated with a motion 3-D optoelectronic system. Nine subjects wore a mechanical prosthesis (TFAm), seventeen a C-Leg prosthesis (TFAc), and fourteen a Genium prosthesis (TFAg). Spatio-temporal and pelvic kinematic parameters were measured. Energy recovery was measured relative to the whole-body center of mass (CoM) kinematics as the fraction of mechanical energy recovered during each walking step (R-step). Correlation tests and multiple linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the correlation and association between kinematic and energy variables, respectively. Receiver operating characteristics curves were plotted to assess the ability of the correlated parameter to distinguish subjects with TFA from controls, and optimal cutoff point values were calculated according to the type of prosthesis. Results: Among the spatio-temporal and kinematic parameters correlated to R-step, only pelvic obliquity of the prosthetic side was significantly associated with R-step. It showed an excellent ability to discriminate between TFA and controls. Furthermore, pelvic obliquity showed an excellent discriminative ability in identifying TFAm and TFAc and a good discriminative ability in identifying TFAg from controls. Significance: Pelvic obliquity plays an important role in energy recovery during gait for subjects using prosthetics. This information might be exploited to monitor the adaptation of subjects with TFA to prosthetic devices, to lower the energetic cost of walking potentially, and to reduce the long-term risks of secondary physical complications in prosthetic users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-284
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Energetic gait parameters
  • Lower limb amputation
  • Pelvic obliquity
  • Prosthetic gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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