Effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy on gait in vascular trans-tibial amputees

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Abstract

Background:

Patients with diabetes often develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a distal symmetric polyneuropathy, so foot function on the non-amputated side is expected to affect gait in vascular trans-tibial amputees. However, there is little information on the kinematics and kinetics of gait or the effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in vascular trans-tibial amputees. This study aimed to clarify these effects, including the biomechanics of the ankle on the non-amputated side.

Methods:

Participants were 10 vascular trans-tibial amputees with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (group V) and 8 traumatic trans-tibial amputees (group T). Each subject's gait was analyzed at a self-selected speed using a three-dimensional motion analyzer and force plates.

Findings:

Ankle plantarflexion angle, heel elevation angle, and peak and impulse of anterior ground reaction force were smaller on the non-amputated side during pre-swing in group V than in group T. Center of gravity during pre-swing on the non-amputated side was lower in group V than in group T. Hip extension torque during loading response on the prosthetic side was greater in group V than in group T.

Interpretation:

These findings suggest that the biomechanical function of the ankle on the non-amputated side during pre-swing is poorer in vascular trans-tibial amputees with DPN than in traumatic trans-tibial amputees; the height of the center of gravity could not be maintained during this phase in vascular trans-tibial amputees with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The hip joint on the prosthetic side compensated for this diminished function at the ankle during loading response.

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