Volume 41 Number 2, March/April 2004
Pages 195 — 206
Abstract - Comparison of the Easy Strutter Functional Orthosis System™ and axillary crutches during modified 3-point gait
John Nyland, PT, EdD, SCS, ATC; Thomas Bernasek, MD; Blaine Markee, MD; Christine Dundore, SPT, ATCDivision of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Louisville, and Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, Louisville, KY; Florida Orthopaedic Institute, James A. Haley Department of Veterans Affairs Medical
Center, and School of Physical Therapy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FLAbstract — The Easy Strutter Functional Orthosis System (ESFOS) was designed to improve assistive device ambulatory efficiency. This crossover design study compared the ESFOS to axillary crutches during modified 3-point gait. Thirty-eight subjects (40-65 years of age) at > 1 year after unilateral total knee or hip replacement participated in this study. Heart rate, mean peak palmar and plantar force magnitude, and onset timing were monitored during self-directed pace ambulation. Between trials, subjects responded to questions on perceived exertion, stability/security, and comfort. One-way analyses of variance were used to evaluate condition differences for ratio or interval data (p £ 0.01). Statistically significant differences were noted for mean peak palmar forces (reduced 45% and delayed 31%), mean peak plantar force onsets (delayed 30%), and energy expenditure index (EEI) (reduced 25%). Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to evaluate condition differences for ordinal data. Subjects preferred the ESFOS to axillary crutches for comfort and security/stability on flat surfaces and stairs (p £ 0.001). Results suggest greater ambulatory gait efficiency during ESFOS use. Further study is indicated with other patient populations.Key words: assisted ambulation, biomechanics, perceived exertion.