Comparison of Strength and Balance Scores Between Below-Knee-Amputee (BKA) and Normal Children

K. G. TEDFORD, R.P.T.,J. L. PATTERSON, B.Sc., J. A. HARDER, M.D., ANDJ. R. ENGSBERG, Ph.D.


A goal of rehabilitation for BKA children is to have the same functional abilities as normal children. The purpose of this study was to compare common strength measures and static balance tests between normal and BKA children. Two hundred normal children (range 7-12 years, mean 9.4) and 25 BKA children (range 6-16 years, mean 10.4) acted as subjects. Standing Broad Jump, Vertical Jump, Squat against wall for time and Grip Strength were used as measures for strength. Balance was assessed through three timed tests correlated to age as outlined in the Bruininks-Oseretsky Gross Motor Test. ANOVA and TukeyB post hoc tests were used to determine significant differences between BKA and normal children (p less than 0.05).

Mean values for the Standing and Vertical jumps indicated that the normal children performed better than the BKA children; however only the Standing Broad Jump for the BKA children was significantly different from the normal children. Mean values for the Squat and Grip Strength were greater for the BKA children than for the normal children, although no significant differences were observed. For the three Balance tests, the nonprosthetic limb of the BKAs were not significantly different from those of the normal children; while the results for the prosthetic limb of the BKAs were significantly less from those of normal children for all three tests.

It would appear that the BKA children have functional strength, and balance in the nonprosthetic limb that is comparable to normal. However balance in the prosthetic limb is far below normal and should be considered as an area for increased attention during functional rehabilitation.

Alberta Children's Hospital and Human Performance Laboratory, 1820 Richmond Rd SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2T 5C7