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ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT. Hello and good afternoon, my name is David Lyle. I am a licensed professional mechanical engineer, aspiring triathlete , and a below the knee amputee.

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ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Hello and good afternoon, my name is David Lyle.

I am a licensed professional mechanical engineer, aspiring triathlete, and a below the knee amputee.

I will present to you today the technical attributes of a new ankle prosthesis component that I hope can be allowed to be used with a prosthesis during the swim event, thus being taken out of the TRI 5 ParaTriathlete classification and be permitted to compete with able-bodied athletes and run in and out of the water with his/her age group; no handler needed.

ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event1
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

As an amputee, my dream is to start with the race pack and run into and out of the swim event like everybody else; no assistance or stopping required.

ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event2
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Current ITU rules do not allow the use of a prosthetic device in the swim event. 

The objective is to illustrate that the use of the Aqua Transition Ankle does not provide any advantage over the able bodied athlete, but will enable the user to;

  • Improve mental confidence,
  • Acquire natural aquatic signature, and
  • Enjoy a safer and more competitive transition.
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event3
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Current

Performance Hurdles

  • Rough water condition is a Safety issue for Amputee without good balance.
  • Handler’s can become an obstacle for other athletes at the water exit.
  • Amputee confidence is diminished by dependence on a handler.
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event4
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Ankle performance capabilities are:

  • Withstanding high impact loads (K4 Activity level).
  • Hands-free transitioning (kick button) from a neutral orientation after entering the water, to a plantar flexion orientation (50°) for swimming.
  • Hands-free re-orientation (ground reaction force) back to the neutral position for transitioning out of the water.
  • Materials are corrosion resistant (Titanium Gr. 5 and 300 series Stainless Steel)
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event5
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Aqua Transition Ankle

ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event6
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Ankle/Foot Assembly in Swim Orientation

Foot shown as example only

ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event7
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT
  • How Science was Utilized in the Design
    • The use of finite element analysis (FEA) aided component design and define load path distribution.
    • Selected optimum materials with superior mechanical properties.
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event8
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Front View Load Path

Side View Load Path

Load Distribution

ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event9
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

High-performance bearing materials consist of:

    • Base plastics
    • Fibers and filling materials
    • Solid lubricants
  • Mechanical properties
    • Compressive strength psi 8,700
    • Static surface pressurepsi 5,075
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event10
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

IIGUS Composite Bearing

ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event11
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Bearings are homogeneously constructed.

  • The base plastics are crucial for wear resistance.
  • Fibers and filling materials reinforce the bearing to withstand high forces or edge loads.
  • Solid lubricants automatically lubricate the bearings and reduce friction in the system.
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event12
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

Performance Factors; Use of ankle in swim position.

  • Mental Focus & Confidence: In order to succeed, the swimmer needs to have positive thoughts, not just about the upcoming race, but about themselves in general.
  • Confidence in Materials:
    • Titanium Grade 5 Compressive yield strength = 141000 psi.
    • Titanium Grade 5 Fatigue strength = 74000 psi
  • Aquatic Signature: wearing prosthetic legs will provide a more balanced horizontal position and better dynamic balance, thus a better position for stroking, which allows the swimmer to maximize the effect of natural horizontal moments.
ankle prosthetic for the lower leg amputee triathlete during the swim transition event13
ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT
  • Aerobic Effort: Any lower limb amputee will find it less physically demanding to swim with a fully plantar flexed prosthesis, wearing a swimming prosthesis will reduce the amount of energy expended to move through the water.
  • Leverage: The kick is an integrated part of the swimming body system when it is used in conjunction with the stroke, and can be very different when separated.
  • Maintaining constant Motion: Transition from swimming posture to a balanced position upon touching the landing or beachhead, and running out of the water to the (T1) bike transition area.
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ANKLE PROSTHETIC FOR THE LOWER LEG AMPUTEE TRIATHLETE DURING THE SWIM/TRANSITION EVENT

In Conclusion

The Science of utilizing load path distribution by use of finite element analysis (FEA) in conjunction with optimum material properties has yielded an ankle prosthesis component that will enable the amputee to…..

Swim & Run

with the Pack.