May 7, 2020
HJF supports the Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence research team at the Center for the Intrepid, which is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured service members who have experienced amputation, limb salvage and/or burns to the highest levels of physical and emotional function. The state-of the-art facility at the Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, provides the full spectrum of amputee rehabilitation as well as advanced outpatient rehabilitation for service members with limb loss or have experienced limb salvage operations.
HJF administers 11 research grants, providing experts in roles from research physical therapists to biomedical engineer. Currently, projects include work on adaptive prosthetic sockets, robotic prosthetic feet that can emulate commercial feet and protocols for training fall prevention. For the adaptive socket work, researchers are evaluating microprocessor-adjusting sockets specific to return service members and veterans to high-level physical activities. Using “Readiness Assessments,” staff are evaluating military task performance in service members with transtibial amputation while wearing three socket configurations: microprocessor-adjusting, user-adjusting and static.
Research is also being done to determine whether a prosthetic foot emulator can be used to predict foot preference and mobility outcomes with corresponding commercial prosthetic feet in service members and veterans with transtibial amputation. For this project, staff are also trying to determine whether a brief trial of commercial prosthetic feet would be able to similarly predict longer-term foot preference and mobility outcomes with those feet.
The research team is also evaluating a novel postural perturbation training program to active-duty service members who have suffered combat-related lower limb trauma, specifically amputations or salvaged limbs. Researchers are assessing whether the benefits of improved motor skills induced by the rehabilitation protocols can be retained following training. They are also identifying, evaluating and implementing existing low-cost methods for measuring trunk control that can be used in lieu of substantially more expensive motion capture techniques.