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Abstract

Little is known about the energy/speed relation of those who are handicapped in the lower-limbs. In fact, this is true for users of below-knee prostheses. The importance of the above relation lies in the pronouncement that can be made in the matter of the results of a rehabilitation program, on the ground of the O2-consumption during walking.

In order to determine the relation between O2-consumption and the walking speed, we had at our disposal 54 users of below-knee prostheses, all but a few disabled in consequence of a trauma.

Thirty-seven subjects could reach and maintain walking speeds of 50 up to 90 m/min for a prolonged period.

For this range of speeds equations for Gross and Nett\(\dot V_{O_2 } \)/kg were determined. The measure of physical fitness as well as the cardiorespiratory functions and the conditions of stump and prosthesis were evaluated.

The conclusion is that otherwise healthy users of below-knee prostheses are consuming approximately 20% more oxygen at all speeds than normal subjects. Stress is laid on the importance of these findings with respect to the rehabilitation. Furthermore, attention is invited for the necessity of maintaining or improving the physical condition apart from the specific walking training for these handicapped.

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Molen, N.H. Energy/speed relation of below-knee amputees walking on a motor-driven treadmill. Int. Z. Angew. Physiol. Einschl. Arbeitsphysiol. 31, 173–185 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00697597

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