MSE Research Project Database

Muscle and joint function during walking in transtibial prosthesis patients

Project Leader: David Ackland
Staff: Peter Lee
Collaborators: Mary Galea (Medicine), Fary Khan (Royal Melbourne Hospital)
Primary Contact: David Ackland (
Keywords: biomedical engineering; gait analysis; joint replacement; magnetic resonance imaging MRI; musculoskeletal modelling
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences

Amputation of the lower limb not only affects the ability to walk, but has an impact on the ability of an individual to participate in a range of activities, as well as on body image perception and on overall quality of life. During rehabilitation, amputees learn to adapt their gait pattern to the prosthesis by training new motor strategies and by adjusting existing motor strategies. One of the most common complications associated with the use of transtibial prostheses includes atrophy to the quadriceps muscles. The condition reduces the volume and strength of the quadriceps muscles, which has a significant impact on lower-limb mobility and stability. At present it is not known why quadriceps atrophy occurs, and therefore, the optimum way to manage or prevent this condition. This study will combine in vivo motion analysis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and three-dimensional musculoskeletal modelling of amputee patients with transtibial prostheses in order to investigate muscle and joint function in vivo. Experiments will be performed at our human movement laboratory at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in collaboration with the prosthetics and orthotics department.

Musculoskeletal model of human body