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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2000 Apr;24(1):19-27.

Children with congenital deficiencies or acquired amputations of the lower limbs: functional aspects.

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1
Revalidatie Friesland Rehabilitation Centre, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of prostheses, some secondary complications and functional aspects among children who had a congenital leg deficiency or an acquired leg amputation. Rehabilitation physicians were asked to refer children, aged 1-18 years, with a leg deficiency or amputation. Mentally retarded children, children who had only had a toe amputated and children within one year after amputation were excluded. A total of 88 children were included; 64 with a congenital deficiency and 24 with an acquired amputation. In 25 of these 88, both legs were affected; 28 children also had an arm deficiency or amputation. A structured interview was held and the Child-HAQ assessed. Five (5) questions from the Child-HAQ, all relating to leg functions, were analysed. All but 7 children had had a prosthesis fitted, most (89%) using it for almost the entire day. In the children with congenital deficiencies, the first prosthesis had been fitted at an average age of approximately 18 months. Four (4) of the 7 children without prostheses used orthopaedic footwear. The 10 children with congenital deficiencies necessitating prostheses with articulated knees had the first knee of this type fitted at an average age of approximately 37 months. Forty-seven (47) of the 88 children had needed one or more (secondary) operations. In the children with congenital deficiencies, this was usually a conversion procedure, while the children with an acquired amputation had usually been operated on for osseous overgrowth. Twenty (20) of the 88 children experienced or had previously experienced phantom sensations, 5 children phantom pain. Skin problems were common. Most children (95%) were able to walk, most of them (93%) more than 100 m and 93% of the children aged 4 years or over were able to cycle. Most children (94%) aged 6 years or over were able to don and doff their prostheses independently. Some 90% of the children aged 4 years or over attended a normal primary or secondary school. Most (93%) of the children were able to take part in the physical education programme at school, although frequently (47%) with some degree of difficulty. The functional abilities of 88 Dutch children with congenital leg deficiencies or leg amputations were found to be generally satisfactory. Most of the children used prostheses in their daily activities. Secondary complications were, however, frequent.

PMID:
10855435
DOI:
10.1080/03093640008726518
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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