The purpose of this investigation was two-fold: 1) to compare the metabolic cost (VO2), heart rate (HR), and self-selected speed of ambulation of trans-tibial amputees (TTAs) with those of non-amputee subjects; and 2) to determine whether a correlation exists between either stump length or prosthesis mass and the energy cost of ambulation at the self-selected ambulation pace of TTAs. Subjects were thirty-nine healthy male non-vascular TTAs between the ages of 22 and 75 years (mean ± sd = 47 ± 16). All had regularly used their prosthesis for longer than six months and were independent of assistive ambulation devices. Twenty-one healthy non-amputee males aged 27-47 years (31 ± 6) served as controls. Subjects ambulated at a self-selected pace over an indoor course, with steady-state VO2, HR, and ambulation speed averaged across minutes seven, eight and nine of walking. Results showed that HR and VO2 for TTAs were 16% greater, and the ambulation pace 11% slower than the non-amputee controls. Significant correlations were not observed between stump length or prosthesis mass and the energy cost of ambulation. However, when the TTA subject pool was stratified on the basis of long and short stump length, the former sustained significantly lower steady-state VO2 and HR than the latter while walking at comparable pace. These data indicate that stump length may influence the metabolic cost of ambulation in TTAs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)