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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2008;45(1):1-14.

Comparison of nonmicroprocessor knee mechanism versus C-Leg on Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire, stumbles, falls, walking tests, stair descent, and knee preference.

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Westcoast Brace and Limb, Tampa, FL, USA.


This study compared subjects' performance with a nonmicroprocessor knee mechanism (NMKM) versus a C-Leg on nine clinically repeatable evaluative measures. We recorded data on subjects' performance while they used an accommodated NMKM and, following a 90-day accommodation period, the C-Leg in a convenience sample of 19 transfemoral (TF) amputees (mean age 51 +/- 19) from an outpatient prosthetic clinic. We found that use of the C-Leg improved function in all outcomes: (1) Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire scores increased 20% (p = 0.007), (2) stumbles decreased 59% (p = 0.006), (3) falls decreased 64% (p = 0.03), (4) 75 m self-selected walking speed on even terrain improved 15% (p = 0.03), (5) 75 m fastest possible walking speed (FPWS) on even terrain improved 12% (p = 0.005), (6) 38 m FPWS on uneven terrain improved 21% (p < 0.001), (7) 6 m FPWS on even terrain improved 17% (p = 0.001), (8) Montreal Rehabilitation Performance Profile Performance Composite Scores for stair descent increased for 12 subjects, and (9) the C-Leg was preferred over the NMKM by 14 subjects. Four limited community ambulators (Medicare Functional Classification Level [MFCL] K2) increased their ambulatory functional level to unlimited community ambulation (MFCL K3). Objective evaluative clinical measures are vital for justifying the medical necessity of knee mechanisms for TF amputees. Use of the C-Leg improves performance and quality of life and can increase MFCL and community ambulation level.

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