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Volume 45 Number 1, 2008
   Pages 1 — 14

Abstract - Comparison of nonmicroprocessor knee mechanism versus C-Leg on Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire, stumbles, falls, walking tests, stair descent, and knee preference

Jason T. Kahle, CPO, LPO;1 M. Jason Highsmith, DPT, CP;1-2* Sandra L. Hubbard, PhD, OTR/L, ATP3-4

1Westcoast Brace and Limb, Tampa, FL; 2School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; 3Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center of Excellence, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, FL; 4Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Abstract — This study compared subjects' performance with a nonmicroprocessor knee mechanism (NMKM) versus a C-Leg on nine clinically repeatable evaluative measures. We recorded data on subjects' performance while they used an accommodated NMKM and, following a 90-day accommodation period, the C-Leg in a convenience sample of 19 transfemoral (TF) amputees (mean age 51 +/- 19) from an outpatient prosthetic clinic. We found that use of the C-Leg improved function in all outcomes: (1) Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire scores increased 20% (p = 0.007), (2) stumbles decreased 59% (p = 0.006), (3) falls decreased 64% (p = 0.03), (4) 75 m self-selected walking speed on even terrain improved 15% (p = 0.03), (5) 75 m fastest possible walking speed (FPWS) on even terrain improved 12% (p = 0.005), (6) 38 m FPWS on uneven terrain improved 21% (p < 0.001), (7) 6 m FPWS on even terrain improved 17% (p = 0.001), (8) Montreal Rehabilitation Performance Profile Performance Composite Scores for stair descent increased for 12 subjects, and (9) the C-Leg was preferred over the NMKM by 14 subjects. Four limited community ambulators (Medicare Functional Classification Level [MFCL] K2) increased their ambulatory functional level to unlimited community ambulation (MFCL K3). Objective evaluative clinical measures are vital for justifying the medical necessity of knee mechanisms for TF amputees. Use of the C-Leg improves performance and quality of life and can increase MFCL and community ambulation level.

Key words: amputee, C-Leg, falls, microprocessor knee mechanism, nonmicroprocessor knee mechanism, prosthetic knee mechanism, rehabilitation, stairs, stumbles, transfemoral, transfemoral amputation, walking.

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