Cardiopulmonary Strain of Walking on Forearm Crutches Compared to Normal Walking in Seniors and Sports Students

Fromme A, Bittner B, Mooren FCh, Thorwesten L, Völker K

Abstract in digital collection (conference)


After injuries or surgical treatment of the lower extremity, walking on forearm crutches is for weeks the most important ambulatory measure for patients of all age groups. The purpose of the present study was to assess cardiopulmonary strain during walking on forearm crutches compared to normal walking before and after a four week crutch training period. 18 seniors (age 55 - 77 years) and 18sports students ( age 20- 30 years) performed three spiroergometries on a treadmill (normal walking and walking on crutches before and· after training). The treadmill velocity was left constant (seniors 0.6 m/sec, sports students 0.9 m/sec), the slope was increasedfrom 0% to a maximum of 24% by 4% increments every 5minutes. The following parameters were measured: VO2, heart rate,lactate and RPE. The maximal allowed ground contact force of30 kgwas controlled by insole pressure sensors via acoustic bio-feedback. Before training, V02 during walking on crutches was up to 500 ml/min higher than during normal walking. After training, this increase in VO2 was reduced by 50% in the group of students,whereas the group of seniors showed no substantial changes. In conclusion, walking on forearm crutches represents a considerable cardiopulmonary and coordinative stress which is, especially forseniors, of !arge clinical relevance.

Details zur Publikation

Publisher: Halle M
Book title: Int. J. Sports. Med
Release year: 1999
Publishing company: Thieme Verlag
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
Event: Stuttgart