Ergometer Modification for Combined Arm-Leg Use by Lower Extremity Amputees in Cardiovascular Testing and Training (from 1987)

Link to pdf of full paper: My 1987 paper on the AirDyne Modification for the Disabled

Link to abstract.

Bostom AG, Bates E, Mazzarella N, Block E, Adler J. Ergometer modification for combined arm-leg use by lower extremity amputees in cardiovascular testing and training. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1987 Apr;68(4):244-7. PMID: 3566520.


A commercial arm-leg ergometer was adapted so that combined bilateral arm-single leg work could be performed by unilateral lower extremity amputees from their own wheelchairs. Three middle-aged to elderly unilateral amputees performed progressive discontinuous bilateral arm crank and combined bilateral arm-single leg cycle exercise tests on the same air-braked ergometer adapted for either form of ergometry. Select amputees may achieve greater peak oxygen uptakes (VO2), power outputs (PO), and heart rates (HR) during combined bilateral arm-single leg cycle testing versus bilateral arm crank testing. Following 14 weeks of combined arm-leg training on the modified ergometer, a 73-year-old above-knee amputee demonstrated peak VO2 and PO increases of 25% (+3.8 mL X kg-1 X min-1) and 33% (+25W) respectively. Combined arm-leg ergometry as described herein may activate the largest available muscle mass and elicit the greatest oxygen uptake during exercise testing. In addition this exercise modality may simultaneously condition the arms and leg, providing functional gains in both wheelchair propulsion and prosthetic ambulation.

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