Study: Doffing Periods Affect Residual Limb Volume Levels

ATLANTA — Doffing period may have a lasting effect on maintaining
residual limb fluid volume, according to a presenter at the American Academy of
Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, here.

Katheryn J. Allyn, LCPO, a research prosthetist at the University of
Washington, presented results of her study on the effects of doffing on limb
volume. The paper was a Thrandhardt Lecture finalist.

She said that changes in residual limb fluid volume can disrupt the
prosthetic fit causing possible discomfort and decreases in stability and user
activity. Periodic doffing is suggested for patients who encounter volume
change, she said.

“Maintaining the residual limb volume throughout the course of the
day can be a challenge,” Allyn said.

She said it is unknown if the residual limb returns to the pre-doffed
volume, so the purpose of the study was to record the effect of the doffing
period for amputees who experience volume changes at their residual limb.

Bioimpedence analysis continuously measured the volume changes of the 16
study participants. The participants sat for 90 seconds, then stood equal
weight bearing for 10 seconds, followed by walking for 5 minutes. Participants
did this three times. After the third time, Allyn scheduled a 30-minute doffing
period in which the participant sat completely still. Allyn measured
participants during the doffing period with a prosthesis on, with only a liner
on and with the prosthesis and liner removed.

Allyn found that when the prosthesis was on, it caused residual limb
volume loss while doffing caused elevated volumes. When the participant donned
a liner, results indicated the level of volume change was between the volume
levels of a donned and doffed prosthesis.

“The 30-minute doffing period had a long-lasting effect on
maintaining the residual limb fluid volume in 16 test subjects,” Allyn
said. “This leads to future investigations. We would like to compare
residual limb fluid volume changes in different residual compartments as well
as monitor residual limb volume changes in real life situations over the course
of a day.”

Allyn K. Maintaining limb volume: effects of doffing
between periods of activity. Presented at the American Academy of Orthotists
and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. March 21-24. Atlanta.

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