O&P Library > POI > 1979, Vol 3, Num 1 > pp. 44 - 45


The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), is a multi-disciplinary organization comprised of persons who have a professional interest in the clinical, educational and research aspects of prosthetics, orthotics, rehabilitation engineering and related areas.


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Standards for lower limb prostheses

A. Bennett Wilson Jr. 

Ever since it was established in 1970, ISPO has been responsible for a series of conferences designed to result in the development of functional standards for lower limb prostheses. The first conference in this series was convened by the Committee on Prosthetics Research and Development of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and was held in San Francisco in March 1971 to discuss problems with the so-called modular prostheses that were available or being developed at that time. One of the many recommendations from this conference was that international standards for lower limb prostheses should be developed. An effort was also started to encourage manufacturers to use standard sizes so that components could be interchanged among systems.

To follow up on this conference, the Department of Health and Social Security of the United Kingdom convened a conference at Ascot, England, in 1972 where methods of physical testing and the collection of data were presented and agreed upon. At this time laboratories in various countries volunteered to participate in the programme by collecting data in such forms that they could be pooled so as to present the most reliable results possible with a minimum of costs.

A small working group was assembled in Dundee, Scotland, in 1973 by the ISPO Committee on Research to review the work up to that point.

The next major conference was convened by the DHSS at Heathrow, England, in 1974 where data accumulated to that point were reviewed and analyzed. It was the unanimous decision that the approach being used was correct but data on more subjects were needed. The groups concerned agreed to continue to collect the data needed.

The data were accumulated by the summer of 1976 and a conference was convened in Philadelphia, U.S.A. in 1977 by ISPO, primarily with funds supplied by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S.A., where a final set of physical standards were agreed upon. The values for standards for lower limb prostheses as developed at the workshops held in Heathrow and Philadelphia are shown in the Table 1 .

The proceedings of the Philadelphia Conference have been published as a report which should be useful to designers, manufacturers, and government agencies that have responsibility for the provision of artificial legs, it is not apt to be of much value to the vast majority of practitioners.

Copies are available from Mr. J. Hughes, Hon. Secretary ISPO, National Centre for Training and Education in Prosthetics and Orthotics, University of Strathclyde, 73 Rottenrow, Glasgow G4 0NG, Scotland. The cost is $10 (U.S.) per copy plus postage.

O&P Library > POI > 1979, Vol 3, Num 1 > pp. 44 - 45

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