A recent study evaluated the stability of people with unilateral amputations by quantifying the margin of stability (MoS) during gait. The findings suggest that the limitations in people with amputations, especially those with transfemoral amputations, are exacerbated in situations that require more skills, such as walking on sloped surfaces, triggering protective mechanisms, according to the authors.
The participants were divided into three groups: people with transtibial amputations (n = 12; 32.27 ± 10.10 years; 76.9 ± 10.3kg; 1.74 ± 0.06m); people with transfemoral amputations (n = 13; 32.21 ± 8.34 years; 72.55 ± 10.23kg; 1.73 ± 0.05m); and controls (n = 15; 32.2 ± 10.17 years; 75.4 ± 9.25kg; 1.75 ± 0.05m). Each participant walked for four minutes on a level and sloped (8 percent down and up) treadmill.
Pelvic and foot marker kinematic data was used to estimate the center of mass and base of support, and the MoS was estimated from that data. Although both groups of people with amputations showed higher values for the mediolateral MoS than did the control group, only the transfemoral group presented a significantly higher value compared to the control group.
The study, “Margins of stability of persons with transtibial or transfemoral amputations walking on sloped surfaces,” was published in the Journal of Biomechanics.