The loss of a limb is a traumatic event in the life of any person. The Amputee Program at Magee Rehabilitation is designed to ease the trauma by working with people who have experienced amputations to adapt both physically and emotionally to necessary lifestyle changes. Rehabilitation goals are tailored to each patient and focus on increasing function and independence in daily life activities. Magee's Amputee Rehabilitation Program is led by a Board Certified Physiatrist (specialized rehabilitation physician). The physiatrist leads a team of rehabilitation experts including physical and occupational therapists, case managers, nurses, psychologists, recreational therapists and community re-entry counselors.
Phase I - Pre-Prosthetic Training
After amputation, a temporary prosthesis (artificial limb) cannot be fitted until surgical wounds have healed. However, important rehabilitation goals are achieved during this period. Patients can work towards independence with mobility, daily living skills and endurance training in addition to prevention of complications, pain management, and strengthening of remaining limb(s). Magee's pre-prosthetic rehabilitation program is offered in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Placement into an inpatient or outpatient setting is based on the patient's medical stability, need for nursing care, home support system and insurance.
Phase II - Prosthetic Fitting and Training
Successful rehabilitation after an amputation depends on the selection of a prosthesis that fits the patient's functional needs and that is within the patient's financial limits. Amputee Clinic, located at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, offers comprehensive services for the new as well as seasoned amputee including:
- Initial rehabilitation evaluation by a board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician
- Physician will develop a prosthetic prescription along with a Physical Therapist and a certified prosthetist to meet the individual's activity level
- Integrated plan of care with respect to prosthetic manufacture and adjustment
- design of physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) programs with appropriate goal setting
- close physician follow up including medical monitoring for patients with significant co-morbidities
- pain management
- psychological support services when necessary
- Conventional out-patient therapy or more intense Day Rehab Program
- Community re-entry and vocational services are available
- Amputee support group
- Educational activities and speakers to promote amputee advocacy and efficacy
The benefits of rehabilitation do not stop after a patient successfully demonstrates functional use of his or her new limb. As with any disabling condition, patients with amputations often have ongoing needs. They may experience pressure sores on the residual limb, or they may experience "phantom pain." Also, after some time, patients with amputations may be prepared for advanced functional skills like driving or sports activities. Magee's Follow-Up System of Care provides patients with access to a variety of services that can maintain health, wellness and quality-of-life. The Follow-Up System of Care is a physician practice specializing in lifetime rehabilitation management. For people with amputations, physician services would include adjustments to their prosthesis or prescription and evaluation of replacement limbs to meet the patient's on-going and often changing needs.