Functional limitations in patients with diabetes and transmetatarsal amputations

Michael J. Mueller, Gretchen B. Salsich, Michael J. Strube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. Reports in the surgical and rehabilitation literature suggest that patients with transmetatarsal amputations (TMAs) function well with regular shoes and a toe filler. Functional limitations, however, have not been documented in this population. The purpose of this study was to compare the function of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and TMA with that of age- and gender-matched control subjects. Subjects. Thirty subjects (15 subjects with DM and TMAs and 15 control subjects), with a mean age of 62.3 years (SD =9.2, range=43-83), were studied. Methods. Function was measured using the Functional Reach Test (FRT), the Physical Performance Test (PPT), walking speed for 15.2 m (50 ft), and the Sickness Impact Profile (sIP). Subjects in the TMA-DM group wore standard shoes with a toe filler. Results. The TMA-DM group scored lower [mean±standard deviation) than did the control group on all tests (FRT: 19.1±8.6 vs 31.5±9.1 cm [7.5±3.4 vs 12.4±3.6 in]; PPT: 18.7±4.8 vs 24.1±2.2 points [28 points possible]; walking speed: 51.5±13.2 vs 75.6±9.3 m/min; SIP: 17.0±12.7 vs 3.7±4.7). Conclusion and Discussion. Persons with DM and TMAs have considerable functional limitations. Research is needed to determine whether therapeutic footwear or other forms of rehabilitation can improve their function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-943
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Foot
  • Function
  • Rehabilitation


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