March 13, 2015

Dr. Jae Shim delivered the keynote lecture at the International Research Forum on Biomechanics of Running-specific Prostheses in Tokyo, Japan.

Presentation Title

Amputee Locomotion: Role of Running-Specific Prosthesis in Amputee Health



Over 80,000 lower limb amputation surgeries are performed in the United States each year, and the number of people living with limb loss is expected to increase by over 100% (1.6 to 3.6 million) by 2050. Limb loss, particularly lower extremity amputation, often leads to reduced physical activity levels. Low physical activity can lead to weight gain, depression, anxiety, increased risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, and an overall reduction in quality of life, all frequently observed in ILEA. Running is a convenient and effective means for ILEA to combat these risks, while also offering opportunities for socialization and community integration through recreational activities. To ensure that ILEA are able to run and maintain high fitness levels, however, appropriate prosthetic designs are required. Due to the lack of running studies involving ILEA, little objective evidence exists to describe any potential advantages or disadvantages of different types of running-specific prostheses. A better understanding of the merits of different running-specific prosthesis options will help determine how best to maximize the accessibility and effectiveness of running for chronic disease prevention and health maintenance and improvement in ILEA. Understanding biomechanical, physiological, functional, and psychophysical adaptations during running with various prosthetic components will assist clinicians to objectively choose, fit, and align appropriate prostheses, and to safely train amputees for running. This presentation will introduce our previous studies on technical developments (e.g., prosthesis inertia estimation, optimal marker placements for prosthesis, etc.), amputee running biomechanics (kinematics, kinetics, energetics, etc.), and future research directions with preliminary experimental data with different running-specific prosthesis. Our team’s long-term research goal is to systematically investigate mechanisms of ILEA running and health in this population in relation to prosthetic designs, selections, and fitting and alignments.