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New Foot Pressure Activated Sensory Compensation System for Posture-Control Enhancement in Amputees

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3 Author(s)
Ming-Yih Lee ; Chang Gung Univ., Tao Yuan ; Chin Feng Lin ; Kok Soon Soon

A computerized foot pressure activated sensory compensation system using subsensory electrical stimulation combined with visual-auditory biofeedback was developed. The proposed system was used for enhancing standing balance and gait performance for amputees. In this pilot study, we hypothesized that the static balance with single limb support and gait performance during treadmill walking could be improved by providing proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation using subsensory stimulation and visual-auditory biofeedback in amputee, respectively. To test this hypothesis, five unilateral transtibial amputees who consecutively wore prosthetics over two years were recruited. Experimental results show a reduction in all of the postural sway indexes and increase in single-leg support time index during single-leg quiet standing by applying subsensory stimulation. With visual-auditory biofeedback for providing clue for heel contact and toe push-off condition during treadmill ambulation, an improvement in all four dynamic gait performance indexes in amputees was verified. These findings suggest that the proposed system with subsensory electrical stimulation and visual-auditory biofeedback mechanisms may be effective in compensating sensory loss and improving posture control for amputees.

Published in:

Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 3 )