Prostheses or Wheelchairs: Factors Determining Selection of Primary Mobility Device for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations

John A. Battles1; Amol M. Karmarkar, MS1 2; Diane M. Collins, PhD, OTR/L1 2; Paul Pasquina, MD3; Shirley G. Fitzgerald, PhD1 2 and Rory A. Cooper, PhD1 2
1 Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
3 Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C.


For individuals with lower limb amputations, multiple variables may determine successful prosthesis usage. The purpose of this study was to determine specific demographic and health factors that influence selection of prostheses versus wheelchairs as primary mobility devices in veterans with lower limb amputations. Individuals > 18 years of age using mobility devices with lower limb amputation were recruited from veterans who attended the 2006 VA Winter Sports Clinic. Thirty four (N=34) veterans who met the criteria completed the MOTIVATe questionnaire for demographics and health related information. Twenty five participants were classified as full-time prosthesis users and nine were wheelchair users. Of the demographic and health related factors, selection of prosthesis versus wheelchair was only determined by level of amputation (p=0.014), with higher level of amputation resulting in greater use of wheelchairs over prostheses. This information could be useful for clinicians prescribing mobility devices for individuals with lower extremity amputations.


Prosthesis usage; wheelchair mobility; Veterans


The study is funded by Walter Reed Army Medical Center (Department of Defense) & Human Engineering Research Laboratories (Sports and Quality of Life Assessment in Disabled Veterans Grant # 06053001)

John A. Battles,
7180 Highland Drive building 4,
2nd floor, East Wing, 151R-1
Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.


  • Source Ordered
  • No Tables
  • Very Compatible


Disney produced a television show in the mid 1990s called Gargoyles. It's a great show and I'm a big fan. A few years ago Disney started to release the show on DVD. The last release was of season 2, volume 1. That was two years ago. Volume 2 has not been released. Why? Poor sales. So if you should find yourself wanting to support my work, instead I ask you pick up a copy of season 2, volume 1. It's a great show and you might find yourself enjoying it.