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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 42 Number 2, March/April 2005
Pages 155 — 166

Abstract - Physical and functional measures related to low back pain in individuals with lower-limb amputation: An exploratory pilot study

Karen Friel, PT, DHS;1* Elizabeth Domholdt, PT, EdD;2 Douglas G. Smith, MD3

1New York Institute of Technology, Department of Physical Therapy, Old Westbury, NY; 2University of Indianapolis, Krannert School of Physical Therapy, Indianapolis, IN; 3University of Washington, Orthopaedic Surgery, Seattle, WA
Abstract — For this study, we compared the physical impairments and functional deficits of individuals with lower-limb amputation (LLA) for those with and without low back pain (LBP). Nineteen participants with LLA were placed into two groups based on visual analog scores of LBP. We assessed functional limitations, iliopsoas length, hamstring length, abdominal strength, back extensor strength, and back extensor endurance. Data analysis included correlations and t-tests. We found significant correlations between pain score and functional limitations, iliopsoas length, and back extensor endurance. We also detected significant differences in functional limitations, iliopsoas length, back extensor strength, and back extensor endurance between those with and without LBP. We saw significant differences in back extensor strength and back extensor endurance between those with transtibial and transfemoral amputations. Differences exist in physical measures of individuals with LLA with and without LBP. Clinicians should consider these impairments in individuals with amputation who experience LBP. Because of the participants' characteristics, these findings may be applicable to veterans with LLA.
Key words: amputation, disability, low back pain, lower limb, phantom pain, prosthesis, rehabilitation, residual limb pain, veterans, visual analog scale.

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