Format of Original
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
The purpose of this study was to describe the sensory changes in adults with unilateral transtibial amputation
(TTA), as any loss of sensation may have significant impact on the successful use of a prosthesis. Sensory modalities of light touch, deep pressure, vibration, and superficial pain (pinprick) were examined on the residual and contralateral limbs of 16 veterans with TTA. Six subjects demonstrated normal sensation on the contralateral limb and impaired sensation of superficial pain, vibration, and/or light touch on the residual limb. Superficial pain was the most frequently impaired sensation, and vibration and superficial pain sensation appeared to be age-dependent, with increased impairment observed in the elderly. Deep pressure sensation was intact in all subjects. These preliminary data suggest that although neither the amputation nor the prosthetic rehabilitation resulted in impaired deep pressure sensation, these two factors contributed to minimal impairment of light touch and vibration, and significant impairment of the superficial pain sensation.