Task Specific Gait Training Paper

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The focus of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of task specific gait training compared to standard prosthetic gait training in reducing falls in individuals with a lower extremity amputation. The fall risk for individuals with a lower extremity amputation is comparable to that of individuals with balance impairments. Reported incidences of falls are 20% to 32% during rehabilitation and 52% within the community (). There can be many causes for a lower extremity amputation, the most common being poor circulation due to the damaging or narrowing of the arteries also known as peripheral artery disease. Other causes include trauma, tumors in the muscle or bone, infection and neuroma. The intervention investigated is task specific gait…show more content…
Following an amputation weight acceptance, single limb support and advancement are essential to achieve a typical gait pattern. Due to the amputation the patient will have a decrease in body weight, which will cause a shift of the center of mass over the base of support. The purpose of the study was to evaluate traditional prosthetic training (TPT) compared to that of propioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) methods on gait biomechanics and weight bearing. The study included all male subjects that were all traumatic amputees and in the prosthetic phase of rehabilitation for their first prosthesis. The subjects were randomly assigned into groups receiving PNF and TPT prosthetic training. All of the subjects were equipped with total quadrilateral socket, a constant friction single axis knee joint and a solid ankle cushion heel foot prosthetic. The prior and post training measurements taken were the percentage of weight bearing on the amputated side and temporal distance of gait based on footprints. The training in the TPT group consisted of weight shifting, dynamic balance exercises, braiding, stool stepping, ascending/descending stairs and gait exercises. The PNF group training included the free dynamic balance exercises of the traditional group along with static balance exercises. When the subject was performing the balance exercises the physical therapist would apply resistance in an antagonistic direction. To resist the therapist through these activities the subject had to use co-contraction and isometric contractions. Through these exercises the contractions provided propioceptive feedback not obtained when performing the unresisted balance activities. The PNF group exercises also consisted of approximation to help restore the association between the ground and

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