A comparison of selected gait parameters and the energy cost of
prosthetic walking was made in seventy patients with unilateral traumatic
and vascular amputations. Amputations above the knee, below the knee, and
at the Syme's level were compared in both groups of amputees, and a control
group of forty normal subjects also studied. In both groups of amputees
performance was significantly better the lower the level of the amputation.
When preservation of function is the chief concern, amputation should be
performed at the lowest possible level.