Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Jason Ciccotelli

First Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Second Committee Member

Daniel Young

Number of Pages



Lateral reach testing has been established as useful in quantifying stability and fall-risk for older populations without limb loss,1 and has potential for providing useful information about fall-risk, recovery, and rehabilitation of individuals after unilateral trans-femoral amputation. Investigators sought to determine the feasibility and reliability of the Lateral Reach Test (LRT) in people with unilateral trans-femoral amputations. Nine individuals, aged 20-68, with a unilateral trans-femoral amputation were recruited for this study. Two females and seven males participated, and the average height and weight for the group was 167cm and 76kg, respectively. Three participants had right trans-femoral amputations while six had left trans-femoral amputations. Participants were over 18 years old, were currently using a lower-limb prothesis for walking and were able to walk independently 50 meters without help from others. Exclusion criteria included history of low back pain surgery, bilateral leg pain, radiological/clinical diagnosis of spinal stenosis, radiological/clinical diagnosis of structural scoliosis, spinal malignancy, spinal infection, shooting pain down the leg, allergy to adhesive and current involvement in an insurance claim or litigation relating to back pain. Participants stood on a dual-belt split treadmill instrumented with Bertec force plates, with an overhead harness for safety. Each foot was placed on a force plate. Participants reached out laterally with a closed fist, horizontally displacing a marker on a meter stick. In order for the trial to be counted, the participant had to successfully return to the original standing position without any assistance. Testing was completed twice, at least one week apart. The average of three measures for each side was used for analysis. Reliability measurement consisted of comparing the distance reached on each day. The intra-rater ICC was 0.86 when the participant reached to the amputated side. The intra-rater ICC was 0.96 when the participant reached to the non-amputated side. There is no significant difference between mean distance reach to the amputated side compared to the non-amputated side. The lateral reach test has excellent reliability and was found to be fast and easy to administer in this population. Further studies are needed with regard to the test’s validity. The Lateral Reach Test is reliable can be carried out easily and quickly in a clinical setting in persons with a transfemoral amputation. It may be a useful assessment tool for balance and mobility to improve quality of life in this population.


Transfemoral; Amputation; Lateral Reach Test; Reliability; Limits of Stability; Standing Balance


Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy

File Format


File Size

969 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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