A study published in the journal Gait & Posture aimed to determine how sensory impairments in the lower extremities related to performance with common clinical, functional measures of balance and gait in individuals with lower-limb amputation. Researchers studied the effects of sensory integrity on static, reactive, and dynamic balance and gait stability levels.
Data showed that clinical, functional gait and balance measures could not determine impairment levels among people with lower-limb amputation. However, the tests could distinguish between participants with amputation and without amputation. Researchers could conclude no significant differences within the group of lower-level amputees based on intact or impaired sensation across all functional measures.
The significance of these findings suggests that more challenging and robust metrics are needed to evaluate the effects of sensation and function in individuals with an amputation, researchers concluded.
Highlights of the study noted that
- Clinical tasks cannot detect differences in sensation in individuals with amputation.
- Neither sensation in the residual limb nor the intact limb correlated with these measures.
- More challenging tasks are needed to evaluate sensory differences in this population.