Influence of a user-adaptive prosthetic knee on quality of life, balance confidence, and measures of mobility: a randomised cross-over trial

Clin Rehabil. 2015 Jun;29(6):581-91. doi: 10.1177/0269215514552033. Epub 2014 Oct 6.


Objective: To study the influence of a transition from a non-microprocessor controlled to the Rheo Knee(®) II on quality of life, balance confidence and measures of mobility.

Design: Randomised crossover trial.

Setting: Research department of a rehabilitation centre.

Subjects: Persons with a transfemoral amputation or knee disarticulation (n=10).

Interventions: Participants were assessed with their own non-microprocessor controlled knee and with the Rheo Knee(®) II. The low-profile Vari-Flex with EVO foot was installed in both knee conditions, followed by eight weeks of acclimatisation. The order in which knees were tested was randomised.

Main measures: Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire with addendum, Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale, Timed "up & go" test, Timed up and down stairs test, Hill Assessment Index, Stairs Assessment Index, Standardized Walking Obstacle Course and One Leg Balance test.

Results: Significant higher scores were found for the Rheo Knee(®) II on the Residual Limb Health subscale of the Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire when compared to the non-microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee (median [interquartile range] resp. 86.67 [62.21-93.08] and 68.71 [46.15-94.83]; P=0.047) In addition, participants needed significantly more steps to complete an obstacle course when walking with the Rheo Knee(®) II compared to the non-microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee (median [interquartile range] resp. 23.50 [19.92-26.25] and 22.17 [19.50-25.75]; P=0.041). On other outcome measures, no significant differences were found.

Conclusions: Transition towards the Rheo Knee(®) II had little effect on the studied outcome measures.

Keywords: Amputation; measures of mobility; prosthetics; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Walking
  • Young Adult