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Cutaneous sensitivity in unilateral trans-tibial amputees
Templeton, Cale A.Strzalkowski, NicholasGalvin, PattiBent, Leah R.
Aim: To examine tactile sensitivity in the leg and foot sole of below-knee amputees (diabetic n = 3, traumatic n = 1), and healthy control subjects (n = 4), and examine the association between sensation and balance. Method: Vibration perception threshold (VPT; 3, 40, 250Hz) and monofilaments (MF) were used to examine vibration and light touch sensitivity on the intact limb, residual limb, and homologous locations on controls. A functional reach test was performed to assess functional balance. Results: Tactile sensitivity was lower for diabetic amputee subjects compared to age matched controls for both VPT and MF; which was expected due to presence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In contrast, the traumatic amputee participant showed increased sensitivity for VPT at 40Hz and 250Hz vibration in both the intact and residual limbs compared to controls. Amputees with lower tactile sensitivity had shorter reach distances compared to those with higher sensitivity. Conclusion: Changes in tactile sensitivity in the residual limb of trans-tibial amputees may have implications for the interaction between the amputee and the prosthetic device. The decreased skin sensitivity observed in the residual limb of subjects with diabetes is of concern as changes in skin sensitivity may be important in 1) identification/prevention of excessive pressure and 2) for functional stability. Interestingly, we saw increased residual limb skin sensitivity in the individual with the traumatic amputation. Although not measured directly in the present study, this increase in tactile sensitivity may be related to cortical reorganisation, which is known to occur following amputation, and would support similar findings observed in upper limb amputees.
Templeton, C., Strzalkowski, N., Galvin, P., & Bent, L. (2018). Cutaneous sensitivity in unilateral trans-tibial amputees.(Research Article). PLoS ONE, 13(6), e0197557. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197557
Attribution 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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