ORLANDO, Fla. – Joan Sanders, PhD, professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington, discussed research to better understand how different activities affect limb fluid volume in transtibial amputees during the Thranhardt lecture series at the American Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, here.

“This is an anchor in the development of prosthesis design, for example, which componentry to select,” Sanders said. “[It is also important] for patient education, for example, instructing patients how to accommodate limb volume changes.”

In a study of 24 transtibial amputees, the researchers used bioimpedance analysis to record residual limb fluid volume while the amputees were sitting, standing and walking. Before testing, each patient sat for 10 minutes to achieve homeostasis. The researchers then attached the electrodes and data was recorded as each patient rested for 90 seconds, stood for 90 seconds and walked for 90 seconds.


Joan Sanders

The researchers found that the participants lost the most fluid while standing and not all participants lost fluid while walking. They also found that both healthy and non-healthy participants lost fluid while walking, which suggests that fluid loss during walking is not bad.

“This information is helpful for a better understanding when deciding which volume accommodation methods to use for individual patients,” Sanders said.

She also noted that fluid volume recovery was slower for the transtibial amputees with peripheral artery disease (PAD) during rest when compared to those without PAD.

For more information:

Sanders J. Paper TL3. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. Feb. 20-23, 2013. Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Funding for this study was provided by the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

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