Researchers from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and Kennesaw State University’s Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, Georgia, have concluded that greater length in the residual femur positively influences gait, and appears to be more important than femoral orientation in those with transfemoral amputations.
Twenty-six participants, who were more than two years post-amputation, were grouped on the basis of a ratio between the angle of their femoral shaft and the length of their residual limb, measured from standing post-operative radiographic scanograms.
The participants then underwent gait analysis testing in their current preferred prosthesis to collect data that compared trunk motion-forward lean, lateral flexion, pelvic tilt, and obliquity, or degree of hip-hiking-to the length of the residual femur, and found that better correlations existed in those with a longer residual femur.
Participants with the shorter residual limb had a greater variation of movement in the torso and pelvis and also walked at a slower self-selected pace.
The article, “Transfemoral Amputations: The Effect of Residual Limb Length and Orientation on Gait Analysis Outcome Measures,” was published in the March edition of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.