Instantaneous stiffness and hysteresis of dynamic elastic response prosthetic feet

Christina M. Webber, Kenton Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Dynamic elastic response prosthetic feet are designed to mimic the functional characteristics of the native foot/ankle joint. Numerous designs of dynamic elastic response feet exist which make the prescription process difficult, especially because of the lack of empirical evidence describing the objective performance characteristics of the feet. Objectives: To quantify the mechanical properties of available dynamic elastic response prosthetic feet, specifically the stiffness and hysteresis. Study design: Mechanical testing of dynamic elastic response prosthetic feet. Methods: Static Proof Testing in accordance with ISO 10328 was conducted on seven dynamic elastic response prosthetic feet. Load–displacement data were used to calculate the instantaneous stiffness in both the heel and forefoot regions, as well as hysteresis associated with each foot. Results: Heel stiffness was greater than forefoot stiffness for all feet. The heel of the glass composite prosthetic foot was stiffer than the carbon fiber feet and it exhibited less hysteresis. Two different carbon fiber feet had the stiffest forefoot regions. Conclusion: Mechanical testing is a reproducible method that can be used to provide objective evidence about dynamic elastic response prosthetic foot performance and aid in the prescription process. Clinical relevance: The quantitative stiffness and hysteresis data from this study can be used by prosthetists to aid the prescription process and make it more objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Heel stiffness
  • energy
  • forefoot stiffness
  • prosthetists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation


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