Roll-over shapes of the able-bodied knee-ankle-foot system during gait initiation, steady-state walking, and gait termination

Steve C. Miff, Andrew H. Hansen, Dudley S. Childress, Steven A. Gard, Margrit R. Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A few investigators have described the movement of the center of pressure (COP) of the ground reaction force and the activation patterns of the lower limb muscles during gait initiation and termination. This study examines the effective rocker (roll-over shape) behavior of the knee-ankle-foot (KAF) system during gait initiation, steady-state walking (i.e. constant speed gait), and gait termination. The KAF roll-over shapes were characterized by transforming COP data of 10 able-bodied subjects from a laboratory-based coordinate system into a leg-based coordinate system. The resulting roll-over shapes (effective rockers) were characterized using a circular arc model. The KAF roll-over shapes exhibit an overall "flexed" orientation during the first step of gait initiation and an "extended" orientation during the last step of gait termination. Understanding the behavior of the anatomical KAF system during gait initiation and termination may aid in the design of prosthetic components, i.e. mechanical devices that replace complete anatomical structures. Prostheses that intend to mimic the overall behavior of physiological KAF systems (biomimetic designs) could be manufactured using approaches that are much simpler than attempting to reconstruct the complexity of the lower limb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-322
Number of pages7
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work described in the paper was supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education under grants no. H133E980023 and H133E030030. The opinions contained in this publication are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Education.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Center of pressure
  • Prosthetics
  • Rocker
  • Roll-over shape


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