Objective: The prosthetic gait of unilateral transfemoral amputees.
Design: Case series.
Setting: Laboratory of Gait Analysis (GIGA-system of K-lab) in the Department of Rehabilitation of a university hospital.
Patients: Eleven men with transfemoral amputation (mean age 35.7 years) participated. The amputation was performed at least 2 years ago and was caused by trauma or osteosarcoma.
Main outcome measures: Stride parameters as well as the patterns of motion of the trunk, hip, and knee joint.
Results: The amputees walked with a 29% lower vcomf than normal subjects. The amputees compensate the vrapid with their stride length rather than with their step rate. The amputees showed an asymmetrical walking pattern; the amputees stood a little longer on their intact leg than on their prosthetic leg. Four amputees showed an extreme lateral bending of the trunk toward the prosthetic side during the stance phase of the prosthetic leg. The rebound of the hip at the amputated side at heel strike was very small or absent. The intact knee was flexed at heel strike and remained in a flexed position during the entire stance phase.
Conclusions: The amount of asymmetry of the walking pattern is related to the stump length. The amputees with highly atrophied hip-stabilizing muscles walked with an extreme lateral bending of the trunk toward the prosthetic side. There is no correlation between stride width and lateral bending of the trunk. Amputees with a short and medium stump length showed a fast transition from hip extension to hip flexion.