Isokinetic Strength Differences between Nonprosthetic and Prosthetic Limbs in Below-Knee-Amputee Children

K. G. TEDFORD, A. REA, J. R. ENGSBERG, AND J. A. HARDER


The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the isokinetic strength differences between nonprosthetic (NP) and prosthetic (P) limbs in below-knee-amputee (BKA) children. A KinCom machine was used to test the concentric and eccentric muscle strength of 6 BKA children for flexion and extension at the knee, at 60 degrees/second with a minimum load of 20Nm. The peak torques were determined and the NP results were divided by the P results, then multiplied by 100 to indicate a percent of strength difference. A minimum of three trials were collected and averaged between and within subjects. Results generally indicated that the NP side was stronger than the P side for the knee with a greater difference occurring with concentric contractions than with eccentric contractions (Table 1). Based upon this small number of subjects it is speculated that the strength differences may be a factor in the asymmetrical gait patterns in BKA children. It is suggested that attempts be made to strengthen the P side to that of the NP side.

Alberta Children's Hospital, Physiotherapy Department, 1820 Richmond Road, S.W Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2T 5C7