Adaptation to altered balance conditions in unilateral amputees due to atherosclerosis: A randomized controlled study

Ágnes Mayer, Jázsef Tihanyi, Károly Bretz, Zsolt Csende, Éva Bretz, Mánika Horváth

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Background: Amputation impairs the ability to balance. We examined adaptation strategies in balance following dysvascularity-induced unilateral tibial amputation in skilled prosthetic users (SPU) and first fitted amputees (FFA) (N = 28). Methods. Excursions of center of pressure (COP) were determined during 20 s quiet standing using a stabilometry system with eyes-open on both legs or on the non-affected leg(s). Main measures: COP trajectories and time functions; distribution of reaction forces between the two legs; inclination angles obtained through second order regression analysis using stabilogram data. Results: FFA vs SPU demonstrated 27.8% greater postural sway in bilateral stance (p = 0.0004). Postural sway area was smaller in FFA standing on the non-affected leg compared with SPU (p = 0.028). The slope of the regression line indicating postural stability was nearly identical in FFA and SPU and the direction of regression line was opposite for the left and right leg amputees. Conclusion: Of the two adaptation strategies in balance, the first appears before amputation due to pain and fatigue in the affected leg. This strategy appears in the form of reduced postural sway while standing on the non-affected leg. The second adaptation occurs during rehabilitation and regular use of the prosthesis resulting in normal weightbearing associated with reduced postural sway on two legs and return to the normal postural stability on one leg.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Publication statusPublished - May 31 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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