Transtibial amputees showed improvement crossing obstacles 6 months after discharge from rehabilitation, although they relied more on their intact limb function, according to recent study results published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
Seven unilateral transtibial amputees crossed an obstacle 0.1m high positioned along a walkway while researchers recorded kinematic data at 1, 3 and 6 months post-discharge from rehabilitation.
Overall, researchers found walking velocity increased 6 months after discharge with most participants self-selecting an intact lead limb preference. Study results showed peak knee flexion and peak knee power absorption were greater with an intact limb preference compared with the prosthetic limb during swing phase.
After crossing the obstacle, participants showed greater intact limb peak ankle power generation in pre-swing and knee power absorption during stance compared with the prosthetic limb.
“The novel objective data from this study establish an understanding of how recent transtibial amputees adapt to performing obstacle crossing following discharge from rehabilitation,” the researchers concluded. “This allows for evidence-based clinical interventions to be developed, aimed at optimizing biomechanical function, thus improving overall locomotor performance and perhaps subsequent quality of life.”
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Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.