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Improved harness crutch to reduce upper limb effort in swing-through gait

By B. Andrews, M. Granat, B. Heller, J. Macmahon, L. Keating and S. Real


A novel crutch, the harness crutch, is described which reduces loading on the arms during the swing phase of swing-through gait. The device was fabricated by attaching a modified mountaineering harness by two side straps, to modified axillary crutches. The harness crutch was compared with the saddle crutch, described by Taylor in 1883. The saddle crutch produced pressures in excess of 500 mmHg in the perineal area; no pressures were produced in this area with the harness crutch. Ischial pressures produced by both systems were similar. In six out of eight non-impaired subjects, significantly more force was transmitted to the harness crutch (an average 47% of body weight) than to the saddle crutch (an average 40% of body weight). A comparison of the oxygen cost of swing-through gait was made between the harness crutch and unmodified axillary crutches; with the harness crutch oxygen cost was significantly lower (p < 0.01) and there were no significant differences in speed and stride length

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 1994
DOI identifier: 10.1016/1350-4533(94)90004-3
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