Energetics and Passive Dynamics of the Ankle in Downhill Walking

Holm, Jonathan K.; Contakos, Jonas; Lee, Sang-Wook; Jang, John
November 2010
Journal of Applied Biomechanics;Nov2010, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p379
Academic Journal
This study investigated the energetics of the human ankle during the stance phase of downhill walking with the goal of modeling ankle behavior with a passive spring and damper mechanism. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected on eight male participants while walking down a ramp with inclination varying from 0° to 8°. The ankle joint moment in the sagittal plane was calculated using inverse dynamics. Mechanical energy injected or dissipated at the ankle joint was computed by integrating the power across the duration of the stance phase. The net mechanical energy of the ankle was approximately zero for level walking and monotonically decreased (i.e., became increasingly negative) during downhill walking as the slope decreased. The indication is that the behavior of the ankle is energetically passive during downhill walking, playing a key role in dissipating energy from one step to the next. A passive mechanical model consisting of a pin joint coupled with a revolute spring and damper was fit to the ankle torque and its parameters were estimated for each downhill slope using linear regression. The passive model demonstrated good agreement with actual ankle dynamics as indicated by low root-mean-square error values. These results indicate the stance phase behavior of the human ankle during downhill walking may be effectively duplicated by a passive mechanism with appropriately selected spring and damping characteristics.


Related Articles

  • The Effects of Walking Speed on Tibiofemoral Loading Estimated Via Musculoskeletal Modeling. Lerner, Zachary F.; Haight, Derek J.; DeMers, Matthew S.; Board, Wayne J.; Browning, Raymond C. // Journal of Applied Biomechanics;Apr2014, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p197 

    Net muscle moments (NMMs) have been used as proxy measures of joint loading, but musculoskeletal models can estimate contact forces within joints. The purpose of this study was to use a musculoskeletal model to estimate tibiofemoral forces and to examine the relationship between NMMs and...

  • A Biomechanical Study of Side Steps at Different Distances. Yuki Inaba; Shinsuke Yoshioka; Yoshiaki Iida; Hay, Dean C.; Senshi Fukashiro // Journal of Applied Biomechanics;Jun2013, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p336 

    Lateral quickness is a crucial component of many sports. However, biomechanical factors that contribute to quickness in lateral movements have not been understood well. Thus, the purpose of this study was to quantify 3-dimensional kinetics of hip, knee, and ankle joints in side steps to...

  • Custom-Molded Foot-Orthosis Intervention and Multisegment Medial Foot Kinematics During Walking. Cobb, Stephen C.; Tis, Laurie L.; Johnson, Jeffrey T.; Yong "Tai" Wang; Geil, Mark D. // Journal of Athletic Training (National Athletic Trainers' Associ;Jul/Aug2011, Vol. 46 Issue 4, p358 

    Context: Foot-orthosis (FO) intervention to prevent and treat numerous lower extremity injuries is widely accepted clinically. However, the results of quantitative gait analyses have been equivocal. The foot models used, participants receiving intervention, and orthoses used might contribute to...

  • Ankle mechanics during sidestep cutting implicates need for 2-degrees of freedom powered ankle-foot prostheses. Ficanha, Evandro M.; Rastgaar, Mohammad; Kaufman, Kenton R. // Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development;2015, Vol. 52 Issue 1, p97 

    The ankle joint of currently available powered prostheses is capable of controlling one degree of freedom (DOF), focusing on improved mobility in the sagittal plane. To increase agility, the requirements of turning in prosthesis design need to be considered. Ankle kinematics and kinetics were...

  • Active dorsiflexing prostheses may reduce trip-related fall risk in people with transtibial amputation Rosenblatt, Noah J.; Bauer, Angela; Rotter, David; Grabiner, Mark D. // Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development;2014, Vol. 51 Issue 8, p1229 

    People with amputation are at increased risk of falling compared with age-matched, nondisabled individuals. This may partly reflect amputation-related changes to minimum toe clearance (MTC) that could increase the incidence of trips and fall risk. This study determined the contribution of an...

  • Kinematics of the Lower Limbs during Obstacle Crossings Performed by Young Adults and the Elderly. Sang Young Park; Yun Seob Lee // Journal of Physical Therapy Science;Nov2012, Vol. 24 Issue 10, p941 

    The article presents a study which investigates the existence of differences in the kinetics of lower limbs between young adults and the elderly during obstacle crossings and level walking. The study uses nine healthy young adults and nine elderly who were instructed to walk barefoot and step...

  • Toe clearance when walking in people with unilateral transtibial amputation: Effects of passive hydraulic ankle. Johnson, Louise; De Asha, Alan R.; Munjal, Ramesh; Kulkarni, Jai; Buckley, John G. // Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development;2014, Vol. 51 Issue 3, p429 

    Most clinically available prosthetic feet have a rigid attachment or incorporate an “ankle” device allowing elastic articulation during stance, with the foot returning to a “neutral” position at toe-off. We investigated whether using a foot with a hydraulically controlled...

  • Coronal plane socket stability during gait in persons with transfemoral amputation: Pilot study. Fatone, Stefania; Dillon, Michael; Stine, Rebecca; Tillges, Robert // Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development;2014, Vol. 51 Issue 8, p1217 

    Little research describes which transfemoral socket design features are important for coronal plane stability, socket comfort, and gait. Our study objectives were to (1) relate socket comfort during gait to a rank order of changes in ischial containment (IC) and tissue loading and (2) compare...

  • Bionic legs get paralysed people walking again. Campbell, MacGregor // New Scientist;10/16/2010, Vol. 208 Issue 2782, p01 

    The article reports the development of an exoskeleton by Berkeley Bionics in California, called eLEGS, which enables paralyzed individuals to walk. The eLEG suit, which will undergo clinical trials in 2011 by Berkeley Bionics, contains robotic legs that are powered by four motors, including one...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics