Postural Responses to Dynamic Perturbations in Amputee Fallers Versus Nonfallers: A Comparative Study With Able-Bodied Subjects

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Vanicek, N, Strike, S, McNaughton, L and Polman, Remco (2009) Postural Responses to Dynamic Perturbations in Amputee Fallers Versus Nonfallers: A Comparative Study With Able-Bodied Subjects. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90 (6). pp. 1018-1025. ISSN 0003-9993


Vanicek N, Strike S, McNaughton L, Polman R. Postural responses to dynamic perturbations in amputee fallers versus nonfallers: a comparative study with able-bodied subjects. Objectives To quantify postural responses in amputee fallers versus nonfallers by using computerized dynamic posturography. Design All participants completed standard protocols on the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and Motor Control Test (MCT) of the NeuroCom Equitest. Setting Human performance laboratory in a university in the United Kingdom. Participants Transtibial amputees (n=9) and able-bodied subjects (n=9) (all categorized into fallers and nonfallers according to their falls history in the previous 9mo). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Equilibrium and strategy scores on the SOT. Postural response latency and weight distribution on the MCT. Results Equilibrium scores were highest when somatosensory information was accurate, but there were no differences between the groups. Strategy scores were lower when visual cues and somatosensory information were inaccurate, and the fallers and nonfallers used a combination of ankle and hip strategies to prevent a loss of balance. The amputee nonfallers indicated they had a greater reliance on visual input even when it was inaccurate compared with the amputee fallers, whereas the control fallers used the hip strategy significantly more compared with the control nonfallers (SOT condition 6: 56±22 vs 72±10, P=.01). Weight distribution symmetry showed that the amputee nonfallers bore significantly more weight through their intact limb compared with the amputee fallers during backward and forward translations (P<.05). Conclusions The SOT and MCT appeared to be population specific and therefore did not reliably identify fallers among transtibial amputees or distinguish between community-dwelling control fallers and nonfallers. Amputee and control fallers can prevent a fall during challenging static and dynamic conditions by adapting their neuromuscular responses. The results from this study have important implications for amputee gait rehabilitation, falls prevention, and treatment programs.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.apmr.2008.12.024
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1103 Clinical Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID21997, accidental falls, amputees, posture, rehabilitation
Citations in Scopus 67 - View on Scopus
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