Effects of Upper Limb Loss on Range of Motion in the Ankle

Faculty Sponsor

Brooke Starkoff


Arts and Sciences


Exercise Science/Kinesiology

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


Upper limb loss (ULL) can have detrimental effects on whole-body range of motion (ROM). ULL, in one or both arms, reduces arm swing, subsequently affecting gait, balance, and ROM. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact ULL has on ROM in the lower limbs, specifically the ankle. Six division 1 cross country athletes (3 male, 3 female) volunteered for this study. Each participant underwent two trials of three different forms of locomotion (walking, jogging, running) for 20 m under three different conditions (no arms bound, one arm bound, both arms bound). Each participant was fitted with motion capture technology to assess joint angles during movement. A repeated measures ANOVA compared ROM in the lower limbs for each condition during the three forms of locomotion. Results indicated that ROM in the lower limbs was greater when no arms were bound compared to simulated ULL. The ROM in the bound arm trials had a smaller angle than the no arms bound. A two-way ANOVA test was performed to compare the joint angles of the ankle under each condition. The p-value for the forms of locomotion was 0.15 and 0.15 for the three arm conditions. This supports the null hypothesis that ULL does not impact ROM of the ankle joint. Further research should examine the study with different methods to imitate ULL and with a larger subject group and different populations.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I am a senior Exercise Science major, and am going to graduate school for Occupational Therapy starting in the fall. With Occupational Therapy helping patients with everyday tasks, I wanted to see how an injury/limb loss could affect someone's everyday life. Upper limb loss will affect everyday life due to the loss of the limb, but I wanted to see how it the limb loss would affect other parts of the body, which would then affect everyday life in a different way.

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