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Biomechanical analysis of independent transfers: pilot study involving persons with paraplegia

Tharakeshwarappa, Nethravathi (2005) Biomechanical analysis of independent transfers: pilot study involving persons with paraplegia. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Transfers are crucial for independent mobility. However, transfers can cause problems if appropriate precautions are not considered. For instance, transfers can result in skin damage, overstretching of the low back, wrist and fingers, excessive motion in unstable spinal segments, and shoulder injury. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a transfer measurement system, to determine an objective method to delineate the different phases of a transfer, and to determine the peak dynamic joint forces and moments at the wrist, elbow, and shoulder experienced by wheelchair users with paraplegia during a level tub bench transfer.A transfer measurement system was developed which consists of a steel frame, two unistruts, two handrail attachments, two aluminum-mounting plates and two force-plates. A mock trial was conducted to determine whether the transfer systems performed correctly. The types of the transfer surfaces that we can evaluate include a tub bench, a toilet seat, and car seat. The phases of transfer from wheelchair to tub bench and back were identified based on force plate data and position and velocity of trunk marker (C7). The phase identification method was used to identify the approximate force coming on the hand during tub bench transfer using force plate data. We studied nine paraplegic subjects transferring from wheelchair to level tub bench and back. We modeled the arm as a serial linkage mechanism in analyzing the peak dynamic joint forces and moments. It was found that peak net joint dynamic forces at the joints are greater in the trailing arm than in the leading arm. It was observed that the peak joint forces were minimum at the wrist and maximum at the shoulder in all nine subjects with paraplegia. The moments at the wrist were lower than the moments at the shoulder. In wheelchair to tub bench transfer, there was an inverse relationship between wrist force and transfer time. Examining leading and trailing arm forces in conjunction with transfer time may assist in modifying transfer styles in individuals with weakness, strength imbalance and shoulder pathologies.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tharakeshwarappa, Nethravathinet5@pitt.eduNET5
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKoontz, Aliciaakoontz@pitt.eduAKOONTZ
Committee MemberCollins, Dianedmcst84@pitt.eduDMCST84
Committee MemberBoninger, Michael Lboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER
Date: 28 April 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 March 2005
Approval Date: 28 April 2005
Submission Date: 22 April 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomechanics; Inverse dynamics; Transfers; Paraplegia; Wheelchair
Other ID:, etd-04222005-144037
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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