Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Amputation -- rehabilitation; Gait


The amputation of a body part is both a physically and psychologically traumatic event for an individual. There are a number of gait deviations that often occur when a person has had a lower extremity amputation, especially when that amputation is above the knee. The entire locomotor mechanism of the body is altered by this change. The person must then adjust ahd relearn how to accommodate for the loss.

This literature review will discuss specific causes of certain gait deviations to determine whether the deviation is due to a musculoskeletal deficit or habit pattern on the part of the patient or whether it is due to a prosthetic malalignment. The appearance of each deviation, when to observe each pattern, and how the physical therapist can help to enhance the overall gait pattern will be discussed. The purposes of this literature review are to help the physical therapist identify gait deviations that frequently occur with an above knee amputation, to recognize the primary or secondary causes of gait deviations, and to decide what action must be taken to enhance the gait pattern. It is a brief, yet comprehensive overview of the physical therapist's role in the gait enhancement of patients who have had an above knee amputation.