The effect of adding virtual reality training on traditional exercise program on balance and gait in unilateral, traumatic lower limb amputee


Objective: Lower limb amputation is common in war combat and armed conflict as well as in traumatic settings and presents a challenge for health care providers. The incorporation of advanced technologies particularly virtual reality presents an opportunity to address main consequences of amputation principally balance and gait. The aim of this study was to investigate the additional effect of virtual reality on a traditional rehabilitation exercise program on balance and gait in traumatic unilateral lower limb amputees. Materials and Methods: thirty two (32) traumatic lower limb amputees, fulfilling a post fitting rehabilitation program at least six months ago, were recruited and randomly assigned into two identically sized groups; group C experiencing traditional exercise program, and group VR experiencing an addition of a virtual reality training. The intervention was done over six weeks at a rate of three sessions per week. Outcome measures taken before and after six weeks were: Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed up and Go (TUG) test, Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), and 6 minute walk test (6MWT). Results: Both interventions induced improvement in all measured parameters (p<.05), however virtual reality demonstrated superior significant effect only on balance markers TUG, DGI, and BBS (p<.05) but not on the 6 MWT (p>.05). Conclusion: virtual reality is a promising, amusing, and safe intervention in addressing balance and gait in unilateral traumatic lower limb amputee.

Journal/Conference Information

Games for Health Journal,DOI:, ISSN: ISSN: 2161-783X , Volume: 10, Issue: 1, Pages Range: 50-56,