Isometric and isokinetic hip abductor strength in persons with above-knee amputations

D K Ryser, R P Erickson, T Cahalan
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 1988, 69 (10): 840-5
Recently introduced prosthetic socket designs for the above-knee amputee (AKA) feature a narrow medial-lateral dimension and emphasize maintenance of the residual limb in full physiologic adduction. Quantitative data on the effect of frontal plane limb position on the isometric hip abductor strength of ten otherwise healthy AKAs were obtained in the standing position. Residual limb isometric and isokinetic abductor strength was also measured and compared with that of the intact limb and with that of ten healthy age-, sex-, and height-matched control subjects using an identical technique. The testing hardware consisted of a modified Cybex II Isokinetic Dynamometer with a custom-made pelvis and trunk stabilizing device. Anthropometric measurements were taken. Results showed an essentially linear increase in residual limb abduction strength with progressive adduction from 30 degrees abduction to 16 degrees adduction. The average increase in abduction torque was .97% (range .29 to 1.5) of the peak neutral position strength per degree of change in femur angle when corrected for the effect of gravity. Similar strength increases with adduction of the femur were found for intact and control limbs. Mean residual limb isometric abduction torque measured 30% less than the intact limb value (p = .0018). The difference between the intact and the control limb mean isometric abduction torques was less than 1%. Isokinetic testing was technically more difficult than isometric testing but revealed similar weakness of the residual limb abductors when compared to the intact and control limbs.

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