A training programme to improve hip strength in persons with lower limb amputation
Objective: To investigate the effect of a 10-week training programme on persons with a lower limb amputation and to determine if this training is sufficient to enable running.
Subjects: Seven transtibial, 8 transfemoral and 1 bilateral amputee (all resulting from trauma, tumour or congenital) were randomly assigned to a training (n =8) or control group (n = 8).
Methods: Isokinetic hip flexor and extensor strength at 60 and 120º/s and oxygen consumption while walking at
1.0 m/s were tested pre- and post- a 10-week period. The training group followed a twice weekly hip strengthening programme, while the control group continued with
their usual activities. Running ability was determined pre-testing, and attempted after post-testing for the training group only.
Results: The training group increased hip strength and decreased oxygen consumption. Six amputees who were previously unable to run were able to after training. The control group decreased intact limb hip extensor strength.
Conclusion: The training programme is sufficient to improve hip strength and enable running in persons with a lower limb amputation. As hip strength was reduced in those not following the training programme, it is recommended that strength training be undertaken regularly in order to avoid losing limb strength following amputation.
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