Running – About running with a prosthesis
Clients that were active before their amputation may want to return to the lifestyles they were accustomed to. Running, sprinting or trail running are some of the activities that they may want to return to.
Although it is possible to run on some standard prostheses for a short distance, most patients require a more specialised running prosthesis. This would enable them to run further and longer without experiencing stump discomfort or fatigue, due to the advanced high activity componentry used.
Running is still possible for some amputees with lower limb amputations and requires some training initially as the running gait is different from that of walking. The level of amputation does however play an important role in the ease and efficiency. The lower the level of amputation, the lighter the prosthesis.
The main method of suspension for a running prosthesis is by means of suction. This is achieved with a silicone liner and ring with an expulsion valve. A knee sleeve may also be used to aid in maintaining suspension.
A running prosthesis is made with specialised running specific components from international companies, such as Ossur and Otto Bock, and the cost of these components are very similar compared to your everyday prosthesis that you are currently using.
Joggers or trail runners normally opt for the Flex Run blade from Ossur as it gives some shock absorption as well as very good energy return. Sprinters on the other hand usually prefer the Cheetah blade from Ossur. Above knee and through knee amputees either opt for the 3S80 or the 3R46 knee joint from Otto Bock. These components are the same that are used by most Paralympians when competing professionally.