Author Information

Tyler Champagne


The purpose of this study was to examine the kinematic movements of the lower limbs involved in walking with a new hands-free crutch known as iWalk, manufactured by iWalkFree Inc. Recently, this new crutch has been developed to reduce underarm stress from conventional crutches, and improve walking efficiency. This study examined the movements with the iWalk by simulating a lower limb injury to the right lower limb in ten healthy female individuals in order to evaluate the kinematics of walking gait, specifically the hip joint angle of the nonweight bearing limb. The results of the study showed a significant increase in hip flexion angle when iWalk was used during the heel strike (145.1 ± 6.6°), mid support (149.2 ± 8.5°), and toe off (155.8 ± 10.7°) of the walking gait. Therefore, the design of the hands-free crutch has been found to alter the walking gait while in use. This increase of the hip joint angle may lead to an increase in the internal joint force and torque at the hip, which may increase the likelihood of developing a patellofemoral pain with continued use over an extended period. Future studies are warranted to examine the 3-D motion analysis and internal force and torque at the hip joint with the use of iWalk.

Note on the Author

Tyler Champagne is a graduating senior pursuing Physical Education with a concentration in Motor Development Therapy. His research was a continuation of a pilot study performed under the mentorship of Dr. Tom Wu (Movement Arts, Health Promotion, and Leisure Studies). This research was funded both by the 2016 Spring Semester Grant as well as the Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Research Grant. Tyler will present this research in the summer of 2017 at the American Society of Biomechanics in Boulder, Colorado.

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