It has recently been suggested that first ray amputation in diabetic patients with serious foot complications can prolong bipedal ambulatory status, and reduce morbidity and mortality. However, no data are available on gait analysis and quality of life after this procedure. In the present case-control study (6 amputee and 6 nonamputee diabetics, 6 healthy non-diabetic), a sample of amputee diabetic patients were evaluated and compared with a sample of nonamputee diabetic patients and a group of age-matched healthy subjects. Gait biomechanics, quality of life, and pain were evaluated. Compared with the other 2 groups, amputee patients displayed a lower walking speed and greater variability and lower ankle, knee, and hip range of motion values. They also tended to have a more flexed hip profile. Pain and lower quality of life were related to worsening biomechanical data. Our study results have shown that gait biomechanics in diabetic patients with first ray amputation are abnormal, probably owing to the severity of diabetes and the absence of the push-off phase provided by the hallux. Tailored orthotics and rehabilitation programs and a specific pain management program should be considered to improve the gait and quality of life of diabetic patients with first ray amputation.
- gait analysis
- quality of life