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Foot Ankle Int. 2016 Nov;37(11):1232-1237. Epub 2016 Aug 11.

Comparative Study of Assisted Ambulation and Perceived Exertion With the Wheeled Knee Walker and Axillary Crutches in Healthy Subjects.

Author information

1
San Antonio Military Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, USA.
2
San Antonio Military Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, USA robyn.l.chalupa.mil@mail.mil.
3
San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Functional limitations after lower extremity surgery often require the use of an assistive device for ambulation during rehabilitation and recovery. There are no known objective data evaluating the wheeled knee walker as an assistive device for protected ambulation. The purpose of this study was to compare assisted ambulation and perceived exertion with the wheeled knee walker and the axillary crutches in healthy participants.

METHODS:

A prospective, randomized crossover study was performed using 24 healthy volunteers. Each participant performed a 6-minute walk test (6MWT) using each assistive device in a crossover manner. Preactivity and postactivity heart rates were recorded. The self-selected walking velocity (SSWV) was calculated and the participant's rating of perceived exertion was recorded using the OMNI Rating of Perceived Exertion (OMNI-RPE). Participant's preference for assistive device was identified.

RESULTS:

The 6MWT, SSWV, and the Omni-RPE were evaluated using paired t tests and determined to be statistically significant for the wheeled knee walker compared with axillary crutches. Evaluation of the preactivity and postactivity heart rates demonstrated a statistically significant difference for the wheeled knee walker compared with axillary crutches. The wheeled knee walker was preferred by 88% of participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

The wheeled knee walker provided increased assisted ambulation and had a lower rating of perceived exertion than axillary crutches on level surfaces in healthy participants.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level III, comparative study.

KEYWORDS:

6-minute walk test; perceived exertion; wheeled knee walker

PMID:
27521354
DOI:
10.1177/1071100716659748
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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