Amputation

To help our patients with amputations move forward, we begin working with them as soon as medically possible after the amputation. We strive to help them regain lost abilities, prevent pain complications, improve wound healing and prepare them to return home independently or with assistance from family members or other care providers.

Our Amputation Program is offered by a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of professionals with specialty training, experience, and credentials for management of medical and functional needs.

Our amputation team strives to provide effective and evidence-based care related to the specific needs of the amputee population. The program is tailored to restore strength and confidence, regain function and mobility, and return individuals to an independent and satisfying life. Our amputation program is also accredited by CARF and the Joint Commission.

In addition, we offer an amputee support group. And, no one is in a better position to understand about living life with an amputation or supporting a person with an amputation that someone that has been there. An experienced peer can offer encouragement and information from a personal perspective. At the Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin we offer our monthly amputee and amputee caregiver support group on the first Tuesday of each month at 2:00 pm in the Lighthouse Conference room. These meetings are free to amputees who are looking for support or a loved one who is in need of resources and support from other caregivers.

Our Rehabilitation Team 

Our therapists work hand-in-hand with doctors and nurses who specialize in amputation rehabilitation.

Members of the team may include:

  • Physical therapists 
  • Occupational therapists 
  • Prosthetists
  • Orthotic/adaptive equipment specialists 
  • Case managers/social workers 
  • Nutritional counselors 

Focused on achievement, the care team meets regularly to monitor progress and response to treatment. Discharge planning begins upon admission and involves the patient, caregivers and the entire rehabilitation team to ensure a smooth transition to home or to another level of care if appropriate. 

Levels of Service 

We offer intense inpatient services in a rehabilitative environment, for patients who need daily physician oversight and 24-hour rehabilitation-focused nursing care. Our setting is for patients considered by their physicians to be medically stable and physically able to begin a comprehensive rehabilitation program consisting of 15 hours of therapy over the course of a week. 

Pre-prosthetic Rehabilitation 

Our pre-prosthetic rehabilitation programs focus on strengthening the muscles necessary to support and be successful with the prosthetic device and training patients about stump care. 

Post-prosthetic Rehabilitation 

Once a prosthesis has been fitted, our therapists work with patients to learn to use the prosthesis and how to incorporate it into their activities of daily living. 

Program Services 

Our amputation rehabilitation program helps improve skills so patients can move forward.

Physical therapists focus on: 

  • Improving overall mobility, health and independence 
  • Restoration of functions that can be restored or adaptation to new levels of function 
  • Walking safely either independently, or with a temporary or permanent walking aid such as crutches or a walker, and how that need might change with or without use of a prosthesis 
  • Transferring to/from different surfaces 
  • Complete strength and range of motion exercises 
  • Balance and coordination improvement 
  • Using an artificial limb (prosthesis) 

Occupational therapists focus on: 

  • Safely performing activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, grooming, bathing and homemaking 
  • Caring for the residual limb 
  • Assessing necessary environmental adaptations for work or home 

Treatment delivery and intensity of service is determined as part of the individualized plan of care and typically includes a combination of 30- to 60-minute therapy sessions provided throughout the day by physical and occupational therapy. Speech therapy is included if clinically appropriate, and social workers and case managers may work with patients to adjust to emotional issues that may arise as they move forward after an amputation, as well as assist in procuring equipment and services that the patient might need in order to return home. 

Therapeutic Goals 

Our hospital uses standardized improvement measures to track our patient outcomes and ensure that we are providing competitive services that are best suited to assist our patients in making the most gain possible during their therapy.

Support Groups

In addition to our comprehensive therapy program, our hospital also provides interested patients and caregivers with amputation support groups. These groups provide patients, family members, and caregivers with guidance and resources to assist with a patient’s journey during and after their time at our hospital. The patient support group is facilitated by a clinical liaison and an amputation coalition-certified peer volunteer. Our caregiver support group is led by an outpatient physical therapist. 

Come meet with us!

  • Amputation Support Group: 
    Meets the first Tuesday of each month from 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Caregiver Support Group: 
    Meets the first Tuesday of each month from 2-3:30 p.m.