Transfemoral Amputees With Running Prostheses Risk Greater Injury

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A study published online in Science Direct examined the vertical ground reaction force loading in individuals with unilateral transfemoral amputations who used running-specific prostheses across a range of running speeds. The results suggested that runners with transfemoral amputations may be exposed to a greater risk of running-related injuries in their unaffected limbs.

Ten runners with unilateral transfemoral amputations and ten able-bodied runners performed running trials on an instrumented treadmill at the incremental speeds of 30, 40, 50, and 60 percent of their maximum acquired speeds. Per-step and cumulative vertical instantaneous loading rates were calculated from the vertical ground reaction force in the affected, unaffected, and non-amputated control limbs.

The study found that both the per-step and cumulative vertical instantaneous loading rates of the unaffected limbs in runners with unilateral transfemoral amputations were significantly greater than the affected and non-amputated control limbs at all speeds.