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The Design of Lower Limb Sports Prostheses: Fair Inclusion in Disability Sport

Within lower limb disability running, the design of the prosthesis has shifted from being a tool for restoring function to one of enabling athletes to perform to near non‐disabled standards. This paper examines the background to this development. The authors argue that the impact of technology on the design of prostheses is likely to affect athletes’ abilities and unfairly advantage those who are able to access the most recent innovations. It is shown that historically in the case of lower‐limb sports prostheses, some variation in their performance is evident. The sports legislation does not allow for this difference. It is indicated that these observations are of concern to the sports stakeholders and therefore warrants further attention. It is suggested that the full understanding of the prostheses contribution may never be known. The authors propose a synthesis of quantitative performance data and a qualitatively obtained code of values to help police these concerns.