Mechanical energy expenditure during level walking was evaluated and graphed for two unilateral, below-knee amputees over time and a range of adjustments of the flexion-extension alignment angle. The resulting mechanical energy surfaces were then least-squared fitted with an analytical function that was linear in time and quadratic in flexion-extension alignment angle. The least-squares analysis showed that there was a flexion-extension adjustment that minimized the mechanical energy expenditure and that this optimal adjustment was very close to the design point set by certified prosthetists.

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