The Energetics of Forearm Crutch Gait: The impact of a dynamic shock absorber

Many people who use crutches for their short-term or long-term mobility experience problems associated with crutch gait such as overuse injuries to the arms, discomfort, and fatigue. Forearm crutches enable people to be mobile and live independent and active lives, however many individuals experience fatigue associated with the increased energy demands of this type of gait. A new type of crutch has been developed with a shock-absorbing component that aims to alleviate impact on the joints. Although this crutch may be more comfortable, it is unknown if the energy demands are increased as a result of this design, compared to other crutches. The purpose of this research is to determine how innovative crutch designs impact the energy required to use these devices.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Bonita Sawatzky


Megan MacGillivray


SideStix Ventures Inc.




Life sciences


University of British Columbia



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