To determine the impact of pain in the vertebral column on the activities of daily living (ADL) level of war victims with bilateral lower limb amputation.
All the war-related bilateral lower limb amputees were invited. More than half of them (n = 335) participated and underwent a thorough assessment after giving informed consent.
The majority of the participants were male (97.6%). Their mean age was 42 years and 97.6% of them were married. The most common causes of injury leading to amputation were shells of artillery and mortar (56.7%). The most common level of amputation was bilateral transtibial (37.6%) and 64% were wearing the prosthesis of both sides. The most ADL dependency were transfer activities (27.8%) and bathing (23.3%) and the most independent functioning was eating (97.6%). Upper cervical vertebral pain was associated with dependency in the bowel and bladder management and dressing (p < 0.03 and p < 0.04, respectively). Pain in the lower cervical vertebrae was associated with dependency in toileting and dressing (p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively). There were significant relationships between pain in the thoracic vertebrae and dependency in bathing, transfer activities and toileting (p < 0.02, p < 0.003 and p < 0.03, respectively). Pain in the lumbosacral region had a relationship with the level of amputation, transfer activities and toileting (p < 0.006, p < 0.03 and p < 0.05, respectively).
Vertebral pain in bilateral lower limb amputees, especially lumbosacral pain, was accompanied with higher dependency in ADL. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach to the management of pain is required to minimize disability and maximize functioning.