In a study published online in April in the journal Clinical Orthothopaedics and Related Research, researchers reported that although people with longer residual limbs after transfemoral amputation chose a faster self-selected walking velocity, their energy expenditure was not affected by residual limb length or orientation. These factors may, therefore, have less effect on gait efficiency and energy requirements of individuals with transfemoral amputations than previously thought.
For the study, 26 adults with acute, trauma-related, unilateral transfemoral amputations underwent gait and metabolic analysis testing. Patients were separated into groups for analysis based on residual limb length and residual femoral angle.
Cohorts with longer residual limbs walked faster than those with shorter residual limbs. However, there were no differences found between the compared cohorts in regard to oxygen cost or other metabolic variables, including the center of mass motion, regardless of limb length or orientation.