Publication Details

Lee, W. C. C., Zhang, M., Boone, D. A. & Contoyannis, B. (2004). Finite-element analysis to determine effect of monolimb flexibility on structural strength and interaction between residual limb and prosthetic socket. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 41 (6A), 775-786.


Monolimb refers to a kind of transtibial prostheses having the socket and shank molded into one piece of thermoplastic material. One of its characteristics is that the shank is made of a material that can deform during walking, which can simulate ankle joint motion to some extent. Changes in shank geometry can alter the stress distribution within the monolimb and at the residual limb-socket interface and, respectively, affect the deformability and structural integrity of the prosthesis and comfort perceived by amputees. This paper describes the development of a finite-element model for the study of the structural behavior of monolimbs with different shank designs and the interaction between the limb and socket during walking. The von Mises stress distributions in monolimbs with different shank designs at different walking phases are reported. With the use of distortion energy theory, possible failure was predicted. The effect of the stiffness of the monolimb shanks on the stress distribution at the limb-socket interface was studied. The results show a trend--the peak stress applied to the limb was lowered as the shank stiffness decreased. This information is useful for future monolimb optimization.



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