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Amputee

Siskin Hospital's Amputee Program

Causes of Amputation

Many individuals experience an amputation as a result of: 

  • Diebetic Foot Ulcers
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Congenital Deformities
  • Vascular Disease
  • Infection
  • Cancer
  • Other medical conditions where a medical team has exhausted all other avenues of treatment

Read the story of one man's triumph over loss of a limb: Because of Siskin Hospital, I can work again.


Treatment Team

Each patient is evaluated by an amputation team operating under the leadership of a physiatrist. Together with the family, professionals in the fields of rehabilitation nursing, clinical nutrition, behavioral medicine, vocational counseling, case management, as well as physical and occupational therapies, work with the patient to achieve the best outcome possible.

One of the most important parts of the treatment team is the family and/or caregivers. The family is provided with training, professional support, education, and counseling while working with the patient's treatment team to provide information about the patient's personality, lifestyle, and hopes.

 

Who Can Benefit from this Program?

Following an amputation, many problems may be encountered, such as:

  • Weakness
  • Change in the center of gravity
  • Phantom pain
  • Emotional adjustment to the loss of limb

All of these may lead to a decrease in mobility and increased challenge in performing simple daily activities such as dressing, toileting, and bathing. 

Siskin Hospital's Amputee Program can assist in alleviating these problems by helping participants to:

  • Learn to properly care for their limb
  • Learn to prepare the limb for a prosthesis
  • Learn to wear a prosthesis
  • Learn to walk with or use a prosthesis
  • Learn to do daily living activities with a prosthesis


The Amputee Program offers:

  • Treatment for upper and lower extremity amputations
  • A thorough evaluation by qualified physical and/or occupational therapists
  • Therapy schedule tailored to the individual's needs
  • Specific education to prepare for wearing a prosthesis
  • Prosthetic training
  • Activities that encourage the patient to increase daily activities
  • Treatment to increase independence in self-care activities
  • Convenience of an in-house prosthetic vendor for those who choose to use them


Components of Care

It is important to treat the patient's residual limb to ensure it heals well and is formed properly. Clinicians trained in wound care will bandage and clean the wound to encourage healing, prevent infection, and to shape it for prosthetic fitting. 

Following a prosthetic fitting with an onsite prosthetist, patients continue a treatment plan to address the social, psychological and physical effects of their amputation. Primary areas of concern in returning patients to life activities include dressing and personal care skills, mobility, skin care, leisure activities, pain management, and psychological and social adjustment.

Mobility is evaluated and recommendations are made to improve independence. Patients receive intensive physical and occupational therapy to adjust to their new center of gravity, prosthesis, and to improve their strength and flexibility. A skin care management program is developed to maintain skin integrity of the limb and to educate the patient about the importance of nutrition, skin checks and prosthetic management.

Before returning to community living, patients may participate in planned outings to learn the use of their adaptive equipment or prosthesis, and to plan ways to deal with barriers and obstacles in the community. The driving program allows patients to evaluate their ability to drive and learn to use adaptive devices or compensation techniques.

In preparation to return home, a home evaluation may be conducted to determine accessibility issues and how those issues may best be addressed. For some program participants, successful return to work or school will only require minimal adjustment, but others may require assistance with finding a new career direction. The entire team, including the family, conducts evaluation and planning for the patient's vocational and educational needs.


Admission Guidelines

A physician's referral is required before therapy can begin.

Learn more about the Admissions process.

 

Resources

The Amputee Coalition of America
 
Amputation Help & Resource Guide
 
Medical Library Information & Resources on Prosthetics
 
Siskin Hospital Support Groups