How does the height of a chair influence the pressure distribution inside and underneath a transfemoral prosthetic socket whilst seated?

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Hälsohögskolan; Högskolan i Jönköping/Hälsohögskolan


Although sitting is a large part of everyday life is the influence of the sitting positions and chair design on pressure and load distribution as well as comfort for transfemoral amputees quite unexplored. The aim of this study was therefore to examine this further.

Two transfemorally amputated females (49 and 57 years old) participated in the study. Three positions were examined for each subject; sitting without foot support and sitting with the knee joints flexed 90◦ and 105◦. The pressure inside the socket was measured by two pressure sensors, placed distally and proximally on the posterior wall inside the socket. The lengthwise pressure distribution and the sidewise load distribution between the socket and the underlying material was measured by a pressure mat. In addition to this, the subjects answered a questionnaire regarding the subjective comfort for each position. 

The result showed that the pressure underneath the socket were higher distally than proximally without foot support. The pressure transferred proximally as the knee became more flexed. The most even load distribution sidewise was found when the subjects sat with their knees flexed 105 degrees. Sitting with the knees flexed 90◦ was ranked as the most comfortable position. No conclusion could be made regarding the pressure inside of the socket. Additionally, according to this study the level of comfort does not have any clear relation with the sidewise load distribution or the longitudinal pressure distribution.                  

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