The University of Southampton

Instrumented Forearm Crutches for Patient Rehabilitation

Healthcare, Healthcare in ECS, Wireless Sensing and Sensor Networks

Forearm crutches are frequently used in the rehabilitation of an injury to the lower limb, by enabling the patient to reduce or remove weight-bearing on the affected limb. Both excessive loading and unloading of the limb can slow healing or cause further damage, suggesting a need for a program of graduated weight-bearing and activity. Therefore, a patient is instructed by their physiotherapist to apply a certain fraction of their body weight through the crutch axis as they walk. Instructing patients on partial weight-bearing is a difficult task for the physiotherapist as there are currently few objective means of measuring how much weight is going through the affected lower limb. A patient’s perception of the loading on their leg is often prone to considerable error and clinicians can give only subjective feedback as a result of visual inspection.

Primary investigators

Secondary investigator

  • Georgina Hallett

Associated research groups

  • Electronic Systems and Devices Group
  • Electronics and Electrical Engineering
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