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Commentary on “Examination of the Functional Mobility Assessment Tool for Children and Adolescents With Lower Extremity Amputations”

Stanger, Meg PT, MS, PCS; Coulter-O'Berry, Colleen PT, DPT, PhD, PCS

Pediatric Physical Therapy: July 2011 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 178
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3182193440
Clinical Bottom Line

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Stanger)

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia (Coulter-O'Berry)

“How could I apply this information?”

This study demonstrates that children with lower extremity amputations can perform similar mobility skills as children without amputations and perceive themselves as highly functional. However, differences do exist in the functional mobility levels of children with lower extremity amputations and children with typical development without amputations. The authors report that the Functional Mobility Assessment Tool discriminated between the control group of children without amputations and the study group of children with amputations of varying levels and reasons for their amputations. Physical therapists working with children with amputations may need to educate other personnel, such as classroom and physical education teachers and coaches, on realistic expectations of endurance and time to complete physical tasks in comparison with their peers without lower extremity amputations. Physical therapist can assist the teachers and coaches with adaptations and modifications so the child with an amputation can participate in the same activities as their peers.

“What should I be mindful about in applying this information?”

Therapists need to be careful about drawing broad conclusions regarding all children with amputations as this study did not differentiate between the functional mobility scores relative to the level of amputation, congenital versus acquired amputations, and time from the last surgical procedure or initial amputation. It would be interesting to see if the children with a Symes-level amputation were closer to their peers in the control group than the children with a transfemoral or bilateral amputations. In addition, children with congenital amputations or limb deficiencies frequently exhibit other lower extremity musculoskeletal anomalies affecting their joint stability and range of motion. However, this study does demonstrate that children with a lower extremity amputation can function at a high level of independence but not at the same efficiency level of children without amputations.

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Review Panel for Pediatric Physical Therapy

The Editor would like to call attention and extend sincere appreciation to the Review Panel for Pediatric Physical Therapy. This dedicated group of scholars provides expert reviews for manuscripts submitted to this journal. A listing of the current members of the Review Panel can be found on the journal website at Individuals interested in joining the Review Panel should send an email indicating interest with an attached file copy of their curriculum vitae, including academic degrees earned, and evidence of research experience to the Editor at

Meg Stanger, PT, MS, PCS

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh,

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Colleen Coulter-O'Berry, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS

Atlanta, Georgia

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.