Unilateral lower-limb loss: Prosthetic device use and functional outcomes in servicemembers from Vietnam war and OIF/OEF conflicts

Robert Gailey, Lynne V. Mcfarland, Rory A. Cooper, Joseph Czerniecki, Jeffrey M. Gambel, Sharon Hubbard, Charles Maynard, Douglas G. Smith, Michele Raya, Gayle E. Reiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rehabilitation goals following major combat-associated limb loss in World War II and the Vietnam war focused on treatment of the injury and a return to civilian life. The goal for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) servicemembers is to restore function to the greatest possible degree and, if they desire, return them to Active Duty, by providing them with extensive rehabilitation services and a variety of prosthetic devices. Our study determines the usefulness of these diverse types of prosthetic devices for restoring functional capability and documents prosthesis use and satisfaction. We compare servicemembers and veterans with major combat-associated unilateral lower-limb loss: 178 from the Vietnam war and 172 from OIF/OEF conflicts. Of survey participants with unilateral lower-limb loss, 84% of the Vietnam group and 94% of the OIF/OEF group currently use at least one prosthetic device. Reasons for rejection varied by type of device, but common reasons were pain, prosthesis too heavy, and poor fit. Abandonment is infrequent (11% Vietnam group, 4% OIF/OEF group). Future efforts should aim to improve prosthetic-device design, decrease pain, and improve quality of life for these veterans and servicemembers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of rehabilitation research and development
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Abandonment
  • Amputation
  • Limb loss
  • Lower-limb loss
  • OIF/OEF
  • Prostheses
  • Prosthetic device
  • Rehabilitation
  • Satisfaction
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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