Olympic Runners vs Trans-tibial Paralympic Runners: Gait Differences and How to Improve Trans-tibial Gait

Date of Award

Summer 6-26-2024

Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics



First Advisor

Amy Funke


The popularity of the Paralympic games raised many questions about how well athletes with amputations can perform. The proposed study aimed to determine if there are optimal limb angles that athletes with trans-tibial amputations could utilize to better their performance. 30 professional athletes, 15 with transtibial amputations and 15 with no amputations, ran on a treadmill while wearing reflective markers in a motion analysis laboratory. The testers analyzed the non-amputee and amputee hip and knee flexion angles and found the optimal limb angles for optimal performance from the non-amputee sprinters. The non-amputees performed an initial gait analysis to receive the initial baseline, while the amputees performed an initial gait analysis to determine where they were at. The amputees then trained with the optimal limb angles and implemented these, through a training regimen, for a second gait analysis. The study showed that with the newly implemented joint angles, the amputee runners showed an improved time on their treadmill. The results show that with these implemented joint angles and improved times, Paralympic athletes could improve their overall performance in their respective games.

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