University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

http://rehab.washington.edu/research/articles/showref.asp?id=4142


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Title:

Pain and pain-related interference in adults with lower-limb amputation: comparison of knee-disarticulation, transtibial, and transfemoral surgical sites

Author(s):

Behr, J., Friedly, J., Molton, I., Morgenroth, D., Jensen, M., & Smith, D

Year:

2009

Publication Info:

Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 46(7):961-972

Abstract:

Pain and pain-related interference with physical function have not been thoroughly studied in individuals who have undergone knee-disarticulation amputations. The principal aim of this study was to determine whether individuals with knee-disarticulation amputations have worse pain and pain-related interference with physical function than do individuals with transtibial or transfemoral amputations. We analyzed cross-sectional survey data provided by 42 adults with lower-limb amputations. These individuals consisted of 14 adults reporting knee-disarticulation amputation in one limb and best-matched cases (14 reporting transfemoral amputation and 14 reporting transtibial amputation) from a larger cross-sectional sample of 472 individuals. Participants were rigorously matched based on time since amputation, reason for amputation, age, sex, diabetes diagnosis, and pain before amputation. Continuous outcome variables were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance. Categorical outcomes were analyzed by Pearson chi-square statistic. Given the relatively small sample size and power concerns, mean differences were also described by estimated effect size (Cohen's d). Of the 42 participants, 83% were male. They ranged in age from 36 to 85 (median = 55.1, standard deviation = 11.0). Most amputations were of traumatic origin (74%), and participants were on average 12.4 years from their amputations at the time of the survey. Individuals with transtibial amputation reported significantly more prosthesis use than did individuals with knee-disarticulation amputation. Amputation levels did not significantly differ in phantom limb pain, residual limb pain, back pain, and pain-related interference with physical function. Estimates of effect size, however, indicated that participants with knee-disarticulation amputation reported less phantom limb pain, phantom limb pain-related interference with physical function, residual limb pain, residual limb pain-related interference with physical function, and back pain-related interference with physical function than did participants with transtibial or transfemoral amputations. This study demonstrated that patients with knee-disarticulation amputation used prostheses significantly less than did patients with transtibial amputation. However, no evidence was found that patients with knee-disarticulation amputation have worse outcomes in terms of pain and pain-related interference with physical function; in fact, they may have more favorable long-term outcomes.

Link to Article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20104419


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