Falls and diminished walking capacity are impairments common in persons with transfemoral amputation (TFA). Reducing falls and optimizing walking capacity through such means as achieving a more normal gait speed and community ambulation should be considered when formulating the prosthetic
prescription. Because walking capacity and balance confidence are compromised with TFA, these outcomes should be considered when evaluating interfaces for transfemoral prosthetic users. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of TFA interface design on walking capacity and balance
confidence A retrospective cohort design was utilized involving unilateral TFA patients who used ischial ramus containment (IRC) and High-Fidelity (HiFi) interfaces (independent variables). Dependent variables included the Activity-specific Balance Scale (ABC) and the two-minute walk test
(2MWT). Complete records were available for 13 patients (n = 13). The age range was 26 to 58 years. Three patients functioned at the K4 activity level, whereas all others functioned at the K3 level. Mean ABC scores were significantly different (p ≤ 0.05) at 77.2 (±16.8;
35.6 to 96.9) for IRC and 90.7 (±5.7; 77.5 to 98.7) for HiFi. The mean distance walked on the 2MWT was 91.8 m (±22.0, 58.3 to 124.7) for IRC compared to 110.4 m (±28.7; 64.7 to 171.1) for the HiFi socket (p ≤ 0.05). Alternative transfemoral interface design,
such as the HiFi socket, can improve walking capacity and balance confidence in higher-functioning TFA patients.
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