An estimated 230,000 above-knee amputees in India are currently in need of prosthetic devices, a majority of them facing severe socio-economic constraints. However, only a few passive prosthetic knee devices in the market have been designed for facilitation of normative gait kinematics and for meeting the specific daily life needs of above-knee amputees in the developing world. Based on the results of our past studies, this paper establishes a framework for designing a potentially low-cost, fully passive prosthetic knee device, which aims to facilitate able-bodied kinematics at a low metabolic cost. Based on a comprehensive set of functional requirements and biomechanical analysis from our past work, we present an early prototype mechanism for the prosthetic knee joint that is primarily focused on enabling able-bodied kinematics. The mechanism is implemented using two functional modules: an automatic early stance lock for stability and a differential friction damping system for late stance and swing control. For preliminary, qualitative validation of the knee mechanism, we carried out a field trial on four above-knee amputees in India, which showed satisfactory performance of the early stance lock. The prototype enabled smooth stance-to-swing transition by timely initiation of late stance flexion. Possible methods of incorporating an additional spring module for further refinement of the design are also discussed, which can enable flexion-extension during the early-stance phase of the gait cycle and potentially reduce the metabolic energy expenditure of the user further.
Design and Preliminary Field Validation of a Fully Passive Prosthetic Knee Mechanism for Users With Transfemoral Amputation in India
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received September 20, 2015; final manuscript received December 27, 2017; published online April 5, 2018. Assoc. Editor: James Schmiedeler.
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Murthy Arelekatti, V. N., and Winter, A. G. (April 5, 2018). "Design and Preliminary Field Validation of a Fully Passive Prosthetic Knee Mechanism for Users With Transfemoral Amputation in India." ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics. June 2018; 10(3): 031007. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039222
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