Clinical observations of three patients fit with powered prostheses

LEIPZIG, Germany — Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is the arrival site for wounded war veterans including the approximate 1,465 amputees due to the global war on terror. The facility has cared for approximately 430 multi-limb amputees. According to Cpt. Bradley Ritland, OCS, DPT, CPT, chief, amputee section physical therapy, WRNMMC, that number is trending upwards.

  Cpt. Bradley Ritland
  Cpt. Bradley Ritland

Once the wounded veterans arrive at WRNMMC, Ritland and his team manage the patient throughout the entire rehabilitation process. Depending on the severity of the injury, the patient may stay for as long as 2 years.

Ritland presented his clinical observations of three patients when they were fit with a powered knee at the ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK 2012 International Trade Show and World Congress. All three patients were male and 22 years old. Two patients were right leg transfemoral amputees and the third patient had a right knee disarticulation.

“We saw increased progression in the rehabilitation clinic and their gait symmetry was excellent,” Ritland said here. “It seemed their effort was not as high as a typical patient.”

The research team noticed increased power with the powered knee while ascending stairs, according to Ritland. The powered knee also decreased pressure on the contralateral limb.

“The patients progressed through rehabilitation at a fast rate, which could potentially have an impact on further usage,” he said. “We would welcome further research on this because although everyone was happy with the results, only one of the three patients currently uses the prosthesis on a daily basis.”


Ritland B. Accelerated rehabilitation with powered knee prosthesis: impact on outcomes. Presented at the ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK 2012 International Trade Show and World Congress. May 15-18. Leipzig, Germany.


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