The Influence of Prosthetic Knee Joints on Gait

  • Steven A. Gard
Reference work entry


Transfemoral prostheses are intended to restore function and cosmesis in persons with limb loss. Lower-limb prostheses are generally intended to restore ambulation, a periodic activity in which the primary concern for the device is for the provision of natural, efficient movement. Of all the elements affecting locomotion, those most amenable to change relate to the device; thus, in the description of walking patterns, emphasis should be placed on prosthetic design, alignment, and fit. The designs of commercially available prosthetic knee units are generally biomimetic in nature, and their functions are fundamentally similar—the prosthetic knee must provide stability during stance phase to ensure that the user is safely supported on their prosthesis, and it must flex during swing phase to shorten the prosthesis and allow the user to advance the limb. However, different prosthetic knee designs offer different features above and beyond these minimum requirements, and selection of a particular knee joint depends upon an individual’s functional needs and abilities.


Prosthesis Prosthetics Amputation Lower limb Knee joint 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC)ChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Department of Veterans AffairsChicagoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sebastian I. Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Movement Analysis LaboratoryClinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery; Center for Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Spinal Cord Injury;Heidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany

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