Normalized Kinematic Walking Symmetry Data for Individuals Who Use Lower-Limb Prostheses: Considerations for Clinical Practice and Future Research

M. G. Finco, Sarah C. Moudy, Rita M. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Individuals who use unilateral transtibial or transfemoral prostheses have negative secondary health effects associated with decreased kinematic (e.g., spatiotemporal and joint angle) walking symmetry between prosthetic and intact limbs. Research studies have quantified kinematic walking symmetry, but studies can be difficult to compare owing to the inclusion of small sample sizes and differences in participant demographics, biomechanical parameters, and mathematical analysis of symmetry. This review aims to normalize kinematic walking symmetry research data across studies by level of limb loss and prosthetic factors to inform considerations in clinical practice and future research. Methods A search was performed on March 18, 2020, in PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar to encompass kinematic walking symmetry literature from the year 2000. First, the most common participant demographics, kinematic parameters, and mathematical analysis of symmetry were identified across studies. Then, the most common mathematical analysis of symmetry was used to recalculate symmetry data across studies for the five most common kinematic parameters. Results Forty-four studies were included in this review. The most common participant demographics were younger adults with traumatic etiology who used componentry intended for higher activity levels. The most common kinematic parameters were step length, stance time, and sagittal plane ankle, knee, and hip range of motion. The most common mathematical analysis was a particular symmetry index equation. Conclusions Normalization of data showed that symmetry tended to decrease as level of limb loss became more proximal and to increase with prosthetic componentry intended for higher activity levels. However, most studies included 10 or fewer individuals who were active younger adults with traumatic etiologies. Clinical Relevance Data summarized in this review could be used as reference values for rehabilitation and payer justification. Specifically, these data can help guide expectations for magnitudes of walking symmetry throughout rehabilitation or to justify advanced prosthetic componentry for active younger adults under 65 years of age with traumatic etiologies to payers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1-E17
JournalJournal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • amputation
  • kinematics
  • limb loss
  • normalization
  • prosthesis
  • review
  • symmetry
  • transfemoral
  • transtibial


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