The objective of this cross-sectional observational study was to determine whether the use of a microprocessor knee for individuals with an above-the-knee amputation results in improved functional mobility compared to their peers of matched comorbid-health with a non-microprocessor knee, and to inform how this compares to the mobility observed in below-knee prosthesis users. A sample of 450 individuals with lower limb amputation were divided into three groups (n = 150 each). The groups included: nonmicroprocessor knee users (NMPK, age: 57.6 ± 17.2 years), microprocessor knee users (MPK, age: 56.5 ± 13.8 years), and below-knee prosthesis users (BKA, age: 58.4 ± 12.2 years). Primary outcome measure was functional mobility measured through Prosthetic Limb Users' Survey of Mobility (PLUS-M®). Results showed MPK mobility (48.49 ± 0.86) was greater than NMPK (43.49 ± 0.86, p < 0.001), but less than BKA (52.11 ± 0.86, p = 0.003). These results persisted when removing potential confounding effects of age, body mass index, cause of amputation, and comorbid health (MPK: 47.15 ± 0.97; NMPK: 43.47 ± 0.88; BKA: 52.61 ± 0.91). In conclusion, these results show the use of a MPK can improve functional mobility for individuals with an above-knee amputation.
Keywords: MPK; amputation; mobility; outcomes; prosthetics.