EFFECT OF THE USE OF LOFSTRAND CRUTCHES AND PROSTHESES ON SOME GAIT PARAMETERS IN AMPUTEE FOOTBALL PLAYERS
Lofstrand crutches are used in the pre-prosthetic period after amputations as well as in combination with prostheses ingeriatric amputees. Amputee football is gaining popularity in countries with increasing numbers of terrorist incidents andtraffic accidents. The majority of athletes playing amputee football, played with two Lofstrand crutches and withoutprostheses, use prostheses in their daily lives. In this study, athletes who use prostheses in their daily lives were asked to walkwith their own prostheses and without, with the crutches they use while playing football, and the two gait patterns werecompared with regards to some gait parameters (stride length, stride time, speed, distance and cadence). The study includedfive registered amputee football players with a unilateral lower extremity amputation (above-knee amputees, AKAs/kneedisarticulation, KD). The subjects were asked to walk at a comfortable pace on a 25 meter track using prostheses andLofstrand crutches. Data were collected through the F-Grip system (Tekscan Inc, Boston, USA) from their Loftstrandcrutches and through the F-Scan Mobile system from their footwear (Tekscan Inc, Boston, USA). A comparison of the twogait patterns revealed that there is a difference in stride length, speed, distance and cadence though statistically insignificant (p=.068). However, the difference observed in the stride time was statistically significant (p=.043). As a result of theirfamiliarity with Lofstrand crutches used in trainings and games and their sports skills, amputee footballers displayed asuperior gait pattern with crutches compared to their prosthetic gait.
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