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

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2004 Jul;41(4):555-70. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2003.06.0102.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs*
  • Humans
  • Leg*
  • Prosthesis Design