Project: Crutches

19 05 2010

Summary: Crutches and prosthetics provide support and improve the quality of life of patients affected with temporary or permanent orthopedic disabilities. Unfortunately, the orthopedic designs and materials used commonly in Zambia are not based upon engineering principles and proper stress tests have never been conducted. In an effort to improve the quality and durability of crutches and prosthetics, we propose conducting a detailed computational analysis. The computational analysis will focus on how can these support devices be improved, what materials should be used or avoided and which designs are preferred. The project will involve close collaboration with UNZA school of medicine and the UTH in Lusaka. Improvements in this design will hopefully lead to better manufacturing and significant improvement in the quality of life of amputees and other patients suffering from orthopaedic disabilities.


To carry out computational analysis of loads and stresses on crutches.

To carry out computational mechanics analysis of loads and stresses on prosthetics.

Student Tasks:

To carry out literature review on mechanical analysis of prosthetics.

To study redesign and material properties necessary for improved crutches and prosthetics.

To investigate the effect of body weight, age, height and disability on loads.

To identify areas of improvement and current bottlenecks.

To investigate the local manufacturability of prosthetics and crutches.




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