Margins of stability in young adults with traumatic transtibial amputation walking in destabilizing environments

Eduardo J. Beltran, Jonathan B. Dingwell, Jason M. Wilken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Understanding how lower-limb amputation affects walking stability, specifically in destabilizing environments, is essential for developing effective interventions to prevent falls. This study quantified mediolateral margins of stability (MOS) and MOS sub-components in young individuals with traumatic unilateral transtibial amputation (TTA) and young able-bodied individuals (AB). Thirteen AB and nine TTA completed five 3-min walking trials in a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation ENvironment (CAREN) system under each of three test conditions: no perturbations, pseudo-random mediolateral translations of the platform, and pseudo-random mediolateral translations of the visual field. Compared to the unperturbed trials, TTA exhibited increased mean MOS and MOS variability during platform and visual field perturbations (p<0.010). AB exhibited increased mean MOS during visual field perturbations and increased MOS variability during both platform and visual field perturbations (p<0.050). During platform perturbations, TTA exhibited significantly greater values than AB for mean MOS (p<0.050) and MOS variability (p<0.050); variability of the lateral distance between the center of mass (COM) and base of support at initial contact (p<0.005); mean and variability of the range of COM motion (p<0.010); and variability of COM peak velocity (p<0.050). As determined by mean MOS and MOS variability, young and otherwise healthy individuals with transtibial amputation achieved lateral stability similar to that of their able-bodied counterparts during unperturbed and visually-perturbed walking. However, based on mean and variability of MOS, unilateral transtibial amputation was shown to have affected lateral walking stability during platform perturbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 21 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

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