A research team established reference values for the two-minute walk test (2MWT) distance and gait speed in people with a lower-limb amputations who are prosthetic ambulators. They also found significant differences in the 2MWT performance between genders, cause of amputations, level of amputations, health risk classification, functional levels, and age groups.
At a national meeting for people with lower-limb amputations, the researchers tested 101 people with unilateral lower-limb amputations (47 males and 54 females; 48 transtibial and 53 transfemoral; mean age 50.9 years, ± 14.3 years). Participants were classified as either limited community ambulators, community ambulators, or those who exceed basic ambulation skills (K2 = 7, K3 = 70, K4 = 24).
· The mean standard deviation 2MWT distance and gait speed for the entire sample was 143.8 ± 37.5m (49-259m) and 72.1 ± 18.8m/min (25-30m/min), respectively.
· Men walked farther and faster than women (men: 154.2 ± 34.2m; women: 134.4 ± 38.1m; men: 77.3 ± 17.1m/min; women: 67.4 ± 19.1m/min).
· The mean ± standard deviation distance for K4-level, K3-level, and K2-level participants was 177.9 ± 31.1m, 138.4 ± 28.5m, and 81.7 ± 26.9m, respectively.
· Functional level K4 performed better than K3 and K3 performed better than K2.
· People with transtibial amputations walked farther than those people with transfemoral amputations (152.9 ± 43m versus 135.6 ± 43m).
· The distance and speed by the people classified in the very high health risk group was worse than the people categorized at an increased high health risk group and the no-increase health risk group.
· The performance of subjects older than 70 years old was inferior to the performance of all younger age groups.
The study was published online ahead of print in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.