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Volume 41 Number 4, July/August 2004
Pages 555 — 570


A systematic literature review of the effect of different prosthetic components on human functioning with a lower-limb prosthesis

Harmen van der Linde, MD, PhD; Cheriel J. Hofstad, MsC; Alexander C. H. Geurts, MD, PhD;
Klaas Postema, MD, PhD; Jan H. B. Geertzen, MD, PhD; Jacques van Limbeek, MD, PhD

Rehabilitation Center Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Center for Rehabilitation, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands
Abstract — A correct prosthetic prescription can be derived from adapting the functional benefits of a prosthesis to the functional needs of the prosthetic user. For adequate matching, the functional abilities of the amputees are of value, as well as the technical and functional aspects of the various prosthetic components. No clear clinical consensus seems to be given on the precise prescription criteria. To obtain information about different prosthetic components and daily functioning of amputees with a prosthesis, we performed a systematic literature search. The quality of the studies was assessed with the use of predetermined methodological criteria. Out of 356 potentially relevant studies, 40 studies eventually qualified for final methodological analysis and review. Four satisfied all the criteria and were classified as A-level studies, 26 as B-level, and 10 studies as C-level studies. Despite a huge amount of literature, our formal clinical knowledge had considerable gaps concerning the effects of different prosthetic components and their mechanical characteristics on human functioning with a lower-limb prosthesis. Therefore, with regard to prosthetic guideline development, we must still largely rely on clinical consensus among experts. The integration of knowledge from research with the expert opinion of clinical professionals and the opinions and wishes of consumers can form a solid base for a procedure on guideline development for prosthetic prescription.

Key words: artificial limbs, biomechanical parameters, human functioning, lower-limb amputation, physiological parameters, prosthesis, prosthetic foot, prosthetic knee, prosthetic prescription, prosthetic suspension, socket, stump, systematic review.

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