Reduced function and health in individuals with lower limb amputation is well documented. Step count measurement could facilitate rehabilitation and help monitor functional health outcomes.
To determine whether mean daily step count changed between in-patient rehabilitation and consecutive leave periods.
Nine individuals with bilateral traumatic amputations attending rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre during a 4-month period were invited to participate in the study (two bilateral transfemoral, two bilateral transfemoral/knee disarticulation, two transfemoral/transtibial, one bilateral transfemoral plus transradial, one bilateral transfemoral plus transhumeral and one transfemoral/transtibial/transradial). Prostheses worn by each participant were fitted with an activity monitor (LAM2TM; PAL Technologies Ltd, Glasgow). Mean daily step count was analysed for each participant following 2 weeks in-patient rehabilitation and consecutive 2 weeks away from rehabilitation.
Nine participants completed the study (time since injury: 19 ± 7 months, age: 26 ± 6 years). Mean daily step count significantly decreased from 2258 ± 192 during in-patient rehabilitation to 1387 ± 363 at home (p < 0.01).
The step count decreased when away from rehabilitation, confirming the hypothesis that the mean daily step count would change between in-patient rehabilitation and consecutive leave period.
These data provide an indication of the step count achievable by young, military male personnel with bilateral lower limb amputations and highlights differences between intensive in-patient rehabilitation and consecutive leave periods. It is suggested that further investigation and support of clinical monitoring could facilitate rehabilitation tailored to the individual.