Biomechanics of Gait Following Van Nes Rotationplasty

M. K. GLYNN, MD, S. NAUMAN, J. MAZLIAH, M. MILNER, PHD,R. GILLESPIE, 1. TORODE AND H. R. GALWAY, MD*Toronto, Ontario


The Van Nes rotationplasty has for many years been a controversial operation. Opinions for and against were based on clinical and radiological observations alone. A biomechanical analysis of gait patterns and muscle function was therefore undertaken in 10 subjects who had rotationplasties. The patients had the ability to flex the prosthetic knee during the stance phase of gait and to control flexion moments around the prosthetic knee during early stance, which is the period of traditional instability in the above-knee amputee. All subjects demonstrated a rapid ankle reflex and strong plantar-flexor muscles in the rotated leg. The Van Nes operation therefore allows a degree of prosthetic control which is not possible with an above-knee prosthesis.

*Ontario Crippled Children's Centre, 350 Rurnsey Road, Toronto, Ontario M4G IR89 Canada