Aggressive Aerobic Conditioning for Amputees
R G. ROSSBACH, J. C. OTIS, J. M. LANE, S. 1. BACKUS,W. BOHNE, M. A. KROLL, AND D. 0. BALSLEY
Amputees may use twice the amount of oxygen to walk at slower speeds than normal controls. After being fitted with lightweight, durable, energy efficient prosthesis, a group of amputees were tested before and after a three month aggressive exercise program. Parameters measured were: 1. net energy cost (NEC), the amount of oxygen used per kg of body weight per meter walked; 2. normalized energy rate (NER), the volume of oxygen required per minute to maintain a level of kinetic energy; and 3. resting heart rate (RHR). Participants in the study exercised for one hour three times per week for three months. Analysis of data used paired t-tests with corrections for multiple measures to determine changes within individuals over time. NEC, NER, and RHR decreased (p less than equal to .01). These improvements would reduce functional impairment in amputees, allowing them to ambulate at their preferred speed more efficiently and participate equally with their peers.
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