Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Health Promotion and Human Performance

First Advisor

Frank J. Fedel

Second Advisor

Sheldon Levine


OBJECTIVE: It is reasonable to utilize kinematic data in the evaluation of amputee functional capacity. However, physiological response to activity is another aspect that should be taken into account when evaluating patient functional K-Ievel. The purpose of this study is to document the physiological responses of lower-limb amputees to clinical exercise testing and compare the results of using a simple submaximal protocol designed for non-amputees to an established method of measuring functional capacity in amputees.

METHODS: Three healthy unilateral transfemoral subjects had all previously been classified as functional K3-K4 ambulators using the Amputee Mobility Predictor. They were tested using the Ebbeling Treadmill protocol, which requires the subject maintain a heart rate between 50-70% of age-predicted maximum for four minutes. Heart rate was taken before, during, and after exercise. V02, CO2 expired, and O2 inspired were measured during exercise using the Parvo Medics TrueOne 2400 metabolic cart. Rate of perceived exertion was assessed using the Borg Scale. Utilizing the measured heart rate response; V02max was estimated using the Ebbeling equation.

RESULTS: Average exercise heart rate ranged from 109 beats per minute (fBPM}} to 135.5 BPM. Peak V02 ranged from 17.5 mlJkg/min to 19_mLlkg/min. Estimated V02max for the subjects ranged from 28 mLlkg/min to 42.21 mL/kg/min, which ranged from poor to fair, according to the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.

CONCLUSION: While the low estimated V02max values are concerning at first glance, they do not seem to correlate to the Amputee Mobility Predictor stratification. In addition, the large HR response to the test that resulted in low estimated V02max values could be due to increased metabolic demands of walking, not poor cardiorespiratory capacity. Small sample size makes it impossible to draw supported conclusions. Further data collection is required.