Focusing Research Efforts on the Unique Needs of Women Prosthesis Users

Matthew J. Major*, Andrew H. Hansen, Elizabeth Russell Esposito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction Women with lower-limb loss represent a relevant and growing patient cohort with unique rehabilitation needs. These needs are emphasized in a growing body of literature and the most recent Veteran Affairs/Department of Defense clinical practice guidelines. Prosthetics Challenges Women with limb loss experience greater dissatisfaction with prosthetic fit, appearance, and types of footwear they can use. There is a lack of prosthetics solutions to accommodate the desire of women to wear different footwear varieties, including high heels. The choice to wear a variety of footwear is important to attire and hence community participation. Despite these recognized challenges, women are still underserved in prosthetics research, which limits available information to guide the rehabilitation process. Research Initiatives This narrative review describes considerations of lower-limb prosthesis prescription and use by women, and examples of current research to address these topics. Research efforts are beginning to explore factors that contribute to prosthetics prescription for women and to design creative prosthetics solutions to expand the range of available footwear options. Research is still needed to characterize the types of footwear women with limb loss prefer to use, and the effects of prosthesis designs, footwear, and lower-limb loss on women mobility outcomes and community participation. Conclusions Through targeted research initiatives, scientists and clinicians can be responsive to the specific needs of women to provide evidence-based guidelines for prosthetics prescription and improve the patient-centered care after limb loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E37-E43
JournalJournal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • amputation
  • female
  • gender
  • leg
  • prosthesis
  • rehabilitation
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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