Researchers: Studies of daily performance of microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joints limited

A recent literature review found that scientifically valid evidence on the performance of patients with microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joints in everyday life is limited and future research should focus on activities and participation to increase the understanding of their functional-added value.

“Much research has been done on the effects of [microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joints] MPKs. However, the information available provides insight into the effects of using an MPK on only a limited number of health and health-related domains,” the researchers wrote in the study.

Searching through six databases, researchers identified 37 studies comparing the effects of using MPKs with mechanically controlled prosthetic knee joints on patients’ functioning. Seventy-two outcome measures used in the studies were extracted and categorized according to the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework. Researchers also performed a descriptive analysis regarding all studies.

Overall, 67% of outcome measures that described the effects of using an MPK on actual performance with the prosthesis covered the ICF body functions component, according to study results. Researchers found 31% of the measures on actual performance investigated how an MPK may affect performance in daily life. Overall, research typically focused on young, fit and active patients.

“The effects have been predominantly investigated from the perspective of the body, and so, objective information and scientifically valid evidence regarding the performance of persons with an MPK in everyday life is still fairly limited. Research should therefore specifically focus on activity and participation, rather than body functions and body structures.”

For more information:

Theeven PJR. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2013;doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-333.

Disclosure: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.

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