Using a microprocessor knee (C-Leg) with appropriate foot transitioned individuals with dysvascular transfemoral amputations to higher performance levels: a longitudinal randomized clinical trial

Chandrasekaran Jayaraman, Chaithanya K. Mummidisetty, Mark V. Albert, Robert Lipschutz, Shenan Hoppe-Ludwig, Gayatri Mathur, Arun Jayaraman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Individuals with transfemoral amputations who are considered to be limited community ambulators are classified as Medicare functional classification (MFCL) level K2. These individuals are usually prescribed a non-microprocessor controlled knee (NMPK) with an appropriate foot for simple walking functions. However, existing research suggests that these individuals can benefit from using a microprocessor controlled knee (MPK) and appropriate foot for their ambulation, but cannot obtain one due to insurance policy restrictions. With a steady increase in older adults with amputations due to vascular conditions, it is critical to evaluate whether advanced prostheses can provide better safety and performance capabilities to maintain and improve quality of life in individuals who are predominantly designated MFCL level K2. To decipher this we conducted a 13 month longitudinal clinical trial to determine the benefits of using a C-Leg and 1M10 foot in individuals at K2 level with transfemoral amputation due to vascular disease. This longitudinal clinical trial incorporated recommendations prescribed by the lower limb prosthesis workgroup to design a study that can add evidence to improve reimbursement policy through clinical outcomes using an MPK in K2 level individuals with transfemoral amputation who were using an NMPK for everyday use. Methods: Ten individuals (mean age: 63 ± 9 years) with unilateral transfemoral amputation due to vascular conditions designated as MFCL K2 participated in this longitudinal crossover randomized clinical trial. Baseline outcomes were collected with their current prosthesis. Participants were then randomized to one of two groups, either an intervention with the MPK with a standardized 1M10 foot or their predicate NMPK with a standardized 1M10 foot. On completion of the first intervention, participants crossed over to the next group to complete the study. Each intervention lasted for 6 months (3 months of acclimation and 3 months of take-home trial to monitor home use). At the end of each intervention, clinical outcomes and self-reported outcomes were collected to compare with their baseline performance. A generalized linear model ANOVA was used to compare the performance of each intervention with respect to their own baseline. Results: Statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements were observed in gait performance, safety, and participant-reported measures when using the MPK C-Leg + 1M10 foot. Most participants were able to achieve higher clinical scores in gait speed, balance, self-reported mobility, and fall safety, while using the MPK + 1M10 combination. The improvement in scores were within range of scores achieved by individuals with K3 functional level as reported in previous studies. Conclusions: Individuals with transfemoral amputation from dysvascular conditions designated MFCL level K2 benefited from using an MPK + appropriate foot. The inference and evidence from this longitudinal clinical trial will add to the knowledgebase related to reimbursement policy-making. Trial registration This study is registered on clinical trials.gov with the study title “Functional outcomes in dysvascular transfemoral amputees” and the associated ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01537211. The trial was retroactively registered on February 7, 2012 after the first participant was enrolled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalJournal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • C-Leg
  • Dysvascular
  • Mechanical and microprocessor prosthetic knee
  • Medicare functional classification level
  • Transfemoral amputations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics

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