The effects of laterality on UTL amputees
Laterality is definable as favouring one limb over the other especially in fine motor skills. It is common in review of amputees to ignore laterality and focus on sounds versus unilateral limb. If laterality is preserved post unilateral lower limb amputation it may be possible to view better performance in clearing an obstacles with this preferred limb.
Where participants were collectively compared prosthetic to intact limb, no significant difference in toe clearance was seen. However, comparing the side patient self reported as the side they ‘would have kicked a ball with’ increased toe clearance was seen when this preferred leg was in lead position. This occurred without any significant difference in foot placement on each side. There is also some implication of better knee proprioception on the preferred side.
The initial implications are that laterality is preserved and that this further has an effect on swing limb control. However, further investigation is needed to confirm.
Read an interesting case study on laterality in bilateral amputees here.
> From: Asha et al., Clin Biomech 30 (2015) 343-346. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.