Oxygen consumption and cardiac response of short-leg and long-leg prosthetic ambulation in a patient with bilateral above-knee amputation: comparisons with able-bodied men. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study measured oxygen uptake (VO2), minute ventilation (VE), and heart rate (HR) in a bilateral above-knee (AK) amputee and in three able-bodied controls during progressive treadmill exercise. Walking conditions for the amputee included using bilateral short-leg (SL) and long-leg (LL) prostheses. A progressive treadmill protocol to maximal capacity was used for the amputee and duplicated by the control subjects. An automated system was used to measure VO2, VE, and HR throughout exercise. Data analysis was restricted to the use of parameter averages and percentages to describe differences between experimental conditions. Maximal VO2 for the amputee averaged 23.3mL/kg-1/min-1 with the LL and 22.8mL/kg-1/min-1 with the SL prostheses, a negligible difference between conditions; however, exercise duration was 27% longer when using the SL prostheses. In addition, when averaged over the first four stages of exercise, VO2, VE, and HR were 24%, 32%, and 14% higher, respectively, when the LL prostheses were used. Treadmill walking by unimpaired controls averaged 47% and 79% more economical than walking with the SL or LL prostheses, respectively. These results demonstrate that the use of currently available AK prostheses requires significant energy expenditure, which limits their use to only the most physically fit individuals.

published proceedings

  • Arch Phys Med Rehabil

author list (cited authors)

  • Crouse, S. F., Lessard, C. S., Rhodes, J., & Lowe, R. C.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Crouse, SF||Lessard, CS||Rhodes, J||Lowe, RC

publication date

  • April 1990