Handling Stairs in the Seated Position for People With Unilateral Lower-Limb Amputations
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Handling stairs in the seated position for people with unilateral lower-limb amputations. The objective of this uncontrolled pilot study was to test the hypotheses that the seated stair-handling method enables people with unilateral lower-limb amputations to ascend and descend stairs effectively and safely, and with an acceptable level of perceived exertion. Eight people with unilateral lower-limb amputations each received a single 20-minute education session on climbing stairs in the seated position. The main outcome measures, assessed 3 days after training, were success in ascending and descending a flight of 11 stairs, safety, and rating of perceived exertion (Borg CR-10 scale, range 0-10). Before training, 3 participants (37.5%) were successful in using a variety of methods. After training, all 8 (100%) were successful, but only 7 (87.5%) were successful when required to use the seated stair-handling method. Two participants had difficulty with this method, one as a result of arm weakness and the other as a result of aggravation of knee pain. There were no adverse events. Ratings of perceived exertion for the seated method (n=7) ranged from 3 to 7.5 for stair ascent and 1 to 5.5 for descent. The seated stair-handling method is a generally effective, safe, and well-tolerated method for people with unilateral lower-limb amputations to ascend and descend stairs.
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