Exercise testing and training of persons with dysvascular amputation: Safety and efficacy of arm ergometry

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Recent studies indicate that most persons with dysvascular amputation also have moderate to severe cardiovascular disease with impairment in functional capacity. This may limit the ability to achieve optimal function with their prosthesis because of inadequate conditioning. We developed an exercise testing and training program using arm ergometry in conjunction with standard rehabilitation for persons with acute dysvascular amputation who were profoundly deconditioned after complicated perioperative courses. The program consisted of daily arm ergometry, performed on an interval basis, at an intensity individually optimized through exercise testing. Twenty-five patients, with a mean age of 63 years, completed the inpatient program with pretest and discharge work performance assessment. There was no significant difference between pretest and discharge assessment of baseline or peak heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, or Borg rating of perceived exertion. Peak systolic blood pressure was elevated at discharge compared to admission testing (p<.04). Heart rate responses were decreased during the early stages of testing when comparing discharge telemetry to admission findings. The duration of exercise increased from 12.6 minutes to 16.3 minutes (p<.0004), and the maximum work output increased from 17.1 watts to 23.5 watts (p<.0004). There was no significant morbidity associated with either arm ergometry testing or the exercise program. We conclude that arm ergometry testing and training is a safe and effective method for improving the efficiency of arm work in the patient with acute dysvascular amputation. © 1992.




Davidoff, G. N., Lampman, R. M., Westbury, L., Deron, J., Finestone, H. M., & Islam, S. (1992). Exercise testing and training of persons with dysvascular amputation: Safety and efficacy of arm ergometry. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 73(4), 334–338. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-9993(92)90006-I

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