The study will design and evaluate a new rehabilitation intervention using functional electrical stimulation (FES) for people with unilateral transtibial (below knee) amputation.
FES is a non-invasive, electrical stimulator. It delivers small amounts of electrical current in the form of pulses into the skin. It is a common and established method in rehabilitation. Some known effects of FES were investigated in several studies e.g. avoiding disuse atrophy, improving muscle strength, muscle force output, and reducing pain.
Most of the studies investigated the effect of FES on patients with brain and musculoskeletal injuries, such as stroke, spinal cord injuries. For the cohort of lower limb amputees, fewer studies exist. However, it is supposed that the effects of FES are similar.
The hypothesis of the study is: the application of FES on the lower limb amputees has the potential to reduce pain and improve mobility. Its long-term application has the potential to mitigate the higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders. In this study, based on the experimental measures of lower limb amputees (including their motion during activities of daily living and medical imaging) we will develop a detailed computational model to assess the efficacy of FES on the amputee cohort.