• Does a more dynamic method of partial weight bearing instruction translate to improved protocols?

      Graham, Claire; Jeffrey, Sarah; Hellawell, Michael (2018-11-02)
      Background: Partial weight bearing protocols are commonly incorporated into rehabilitation to enhance recovery. Patients are often prescribed protocols that refer to a percentage of their body weight, such as 20% weight bearing, that should be placed through the healing limb during activities such as walking (gait). In order to achieve these partial weight baring protocols patients are usually provided with walking aids such as crutches. Accurate reproducibility of and compliance with these protocols could be considered essential to the rehabilitation process, however poor reproducibility of partial weight bearing protocols during crutch assisted gait using a current method of instruction has been shown. Aims: The aim of this study was to determine whether a more dynamic method of partial weight bearing protocol instruction, was more accurately reproduced. Methods: In total, 16 participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups and were taught 20% partial weight bearing using two different methods of instruction. A participant’s ability to reproduce their target load using crutch assisted gait was assessed using a force plate. Findings: The mean error for the static method of instruction was significantly greater than the more dynamic method. Conclusion: As seen previously, the static method of instruction of partial weight bearing protocols, using bathroom scales, does not seem to translate accurately to dynamic motion; however, the more dynamic method assessed in this study appears to result in more accurate reproducibility.