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Parameter Estimation of the Human Ankle in the Transverse Plane During the Initiation of a Turn

[+] Author Affiliations
Brian C. Glaister, Jason A. Schoen, Glenn K. Klute

Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA

Michael S. Orendurff

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, TX

Paper No. IMECE2007-42342, pp. 237-240; 4 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4296-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9


In order to better rehabilitate lower limb amputees, prostheses need to provide torsional control in the transverse plane to facilitate turning. When designing prostheses, it is helpful to create mechanical models of biological behavior. This paper presented a model of transverse plane ankle function during turn initiation, the first step of a multi-step turning sequence. Motion capture data was collected from ten subjects performing left turns. Four states of stance phase were chosen based on distinct events in the power curve. Passive elements were chosen to model the ankle in each state for turn initiation. The ankle was observed to act as a quadratic torsional spring and a linear torsional damper in State 1 and as linear torsional springs in States 2–4. Damping was found only in State 4 where it was modeled as a linear torsional damper. Turn initiation stiffness coefficients were similar to straight walking in State 1 and 2, but differed in States 3 and 4. This indicates that the turn begins in the middle of stance phase when viewed in terms of transverse plane ankle function. The results of this study should assist with the mechanical design and control of a biomimetic torsional prosthesis by suggesting a finite state control system and by providing the stiffness and damping coefficients to be controlled.



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