Content » Vol 48, Issue 1

Original report

Risk of fall-related injury in people with lower limb amputations: A prospective cohort study

Christopher Kevin Wong, Stanford T. Chihuri, Guohua Li
Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, Neurological Institute 8-822, 710 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA. E-mail:ckw7@columbia.edu, ckw7@cumc.columbia.edu
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2042

Abstract

Objective: To assess fall-related injury risk and risk factors in people with lower limb amputation.
Design: Prospective longitudinal cohort with follow-up every 6 months for up to 41 months.
Subjects: Community-dwelling adults with lower limb amputations of any etiology and level recruited from support groups and prosthetic clinics.
Methods: Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained by self-reported questionnaire and telephone or in-person follow-up. Fall-related injury incidence requiring medical care per person-month and adjusted hazard ratio of fall-related injury were calculated using multivariable proportional hazards regression modeling.
Results: A total of 41 subjects, with 782 follow-up person-months in total, had 11 fall-related injury incidents (14.1/1,000 person-months). During follow-up, 56.1% of subjects reported falling and 26.8% reported fall-related injury. Multivariable proportional hazard modeling showed that women were nearly 6 times more likely as men to experience fall-related injury and people of non-white race were 13 times more likely than people of white race to experience fall-related injury. The final predictive model also included vascular amputation and age.
Conclusion: Risk of fall-related injury requiring medical care in people with lower limb amputation appears to be higher than in older adult inpatients. Intervention programs to prevent fall-related injury in people with lower limb amputation should target women and racial minorities.

Lay Abstract

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