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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2013 December;49(6):837-47


language: English

The effect of a flexible pylon system on functional mobility of transtibial amputees. A prospective randomized study

Lass R. 1, Kickinger W. 2, Guglia P. 2, Kubista B. 1, Kastner J. 3, Windhager R. 1, Holzer G. 1

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery Medical University of Vienna Vienna General Hospital, Vienna, Austria; 2 Rehabilitation Centre SKA Zicksee, St. Andrä, Austria; 3 Research Institute for Orthopedic Techniques Fiot Austria, Vienna, Austria


Background: Prosthetic component selection strongly influences the functional mobility of transtibial amputees. Until now, little attention has been paid to the connection between the prosthetic socket and the foot component.
Aim and Design: Aim of this study was to compare a novel flexible with a conventional rigid pylon system in a prospective randomized trial in transtibial amputees to determine effects on gait and mobility.
Setting: The study was performed in a rehabilitation centre for geriatric amputees.
Population: Twenty-eight geriatric unilateral transtibial amputees (8 female, 20 male) with low degree of mobility were included.
Methods: At admission to the rehabilitation centre objective and subjective parameters were assessed including demographic data and levels of daily activity using standardized questionnaires. Three months after prosthetic fitting a follow-up was performed and additional parameters such as walking speed, step length and vertical ground reaction forces were examined using a dynamic gait analysis.
Results: The study revealed a significant improvement in step length (P=0.03), in using mobility aids (P=0.04) and benefits concerning the self-selected gait speed, the mobility and gait disorders using the flexible device.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate advantages for the flexible system, resulting in a positive effect on the patient’s gait accomplishments in a geriatric population.
Clinical rehabilitation impact: The advantages of the dynamic pylon may improve clinical rehabilitation, especially for geriatric patients with vascular disorders, as it provides comfort and better prosthetic performance during gait as a short-term benefit and thus gives a better quality of life in the long-term.

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