This study constitutes the first attempt to systematically quantify residual limb volume fluctuations in transfemoral amputees. The study was carried out on 24 amputees to investigate variations due to prosthesis doffing, physical activity, and testing time. A proper experimental set-up was designed, including a 3D optical scanner to improve precision and acceptability by amputees. The first test session aimed at measuring residual limb volume at 7 time-points, with 10 min intervals, after prosthesis doffing. This allowed for evaluating the time required for volume stabilization after prosthesis removal, for each amputee. In subsequent sessions, 16 residual limb scans in a day for each amputee were captured to evaluate volume fluctuations due to prosthesis removal and physical activity, in two times per day (morning and afternoon). These measurements were repeated in three different days, a week apart from each other, for a total of 48 scans for each amputee. Volume fluctuations over time after prosthesis doffing showed a two-term decay exponential trend (R2 = 0.97), with the highest variation in the initial 10 min and an average stabilization time of 30 min. A statistically significant increase in residual limb volume following both prosthesis removal and physical activity was verified. No differences were observed between measures collected in the morning and in the afternoon. Clinical Trials.gov ID: NCT04709367.
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