Amputee Treatment and Rehab

Inpatient and outpatient amputee rehabilitation

Through the amputee rehabilitation program at Bryn Mawr Rehab, we help patients experience how full life can be after losing a limb. We offer a full range of inpatient and outpatient amputee support and rehabilitation from pre-amputation evaluation to advanced prosthetic training, assuring medical management throughout the entire process.

Our experienced team brings tireless creativity to every program, tailoring treatment based on each patient's physical endurance, lifestyle and vocational needs.

As a comprehensive amputee rehabilitation hospital, we offer a full range of treatment services which can begin at any one of these points:

  • Initial inpatient stay after amputation (Phase 1)
  • Outpatient amputee clinic for prosthetic fitting
  • Inpatient or outpatient prosthetic training (Phase 2)
  • Outpatient therapy for advanced prosthetic training
  • Maintenance/follow-up in the amputee clinic

Treatment for amputees typically includes physical and occupational therapy, nursing, physiatry, psychology and case management. Recreational therapy and diabetic education are included, if appropriate.

View our Patient Outcome Report

Bryn Mawr Rehab Amputee Treatment and Rehabilitation Program

Most amputees at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital are over the age of 65. Two-thirds of these patients have single or double amputations below the knee.

Phase 1: Initial inpatient stay after amputation

After a patient undergoes amputation, our rehab team provides the education and training needed to care for the limb. This includes skin management, transfer techniques, completing activities of daily life, family training, gentle stretching and strengthening, managing swelling and choosing a prosthetist.

The goals for the initial inpatient stay include being able to:

  • Perform basic activities, including functional transfers
  • Maintain range of motion to prevent contractures at hip and/or knee
  • Learn proper wheelchair positioning and how to conserve energy
  • Achieve independence with home exercise, edema control, skin management and desensitization techniques

Inpatient amputee support group

This support group is open to those on inpatient units who have experienced limb amputation. The group is led by a psychologist with a focus on adjustment issues following amputation. Family members are also invited to attend.

The group meets every Wednesday from 4:00–4:30 pm in the Spruce Gym. For further information call the psychology department at 484.596.5430.

Outpatient amputee clinic for prosthetic fitting

Following inpatient care, patients are discharged to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital outpatient services or home care for additional therapy. This phase of treatment teaches advanced skills to ensure safety, while achieving the highest level of independence. Therapy may continue during wound healing, depending on the patient's progress.

Our protocol of three hours of intensive therapy a minimum of five days a week brings a comprehensive team approach to rehabilitation.

Aspire to Excellence, CARF accredited logo

CARF International Three-Year Accreditation

Consumers, their families, and the public look for CARF accreditation as assurance that providers strive to offer the highest quality services. CARF International is an independent, accrediting body of health and human services. CARF-accredited service providers have applied CARF's comprehensive set of standards for quality to their business and service delivery practices. This means that they have demonstrated conformance to proven standards for business practices and are committed to continuous quality improvement. Each provider’s commitment to excellence is periodically evaluated on site and reconfirmed annually.

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital received accreditation for the following inpatient rehabilitation programs: comprehensive integrated inpatient rehabilitation program (adults); amputation specialty program (adults); brain injury specialty program (adults, children, adolescents); spinal cord system of care (adults); stroke specialty program (adults); and interdisciplinary outpatient medical rehabilitation programs: brain injury specialty program (adults, children adolescents); spinal cord system of care (adults).

Phase 2: Inpatient or outpatient prosthetic training

Once a patient is ready for a prosthesis, we provide evaluation of wound healing and initial prosthetic fitting, as well as a follow-up for prosthetic maintenance. Our team works together to determine the type of prosthesis that will help meet the patient's goals. Once a prosthesis is made, the patient can return to the clinic to assess the fit and determine whether inpatient or outpatient prosthetic training is most appropriate.

Initial prosthetic training takes several weeks as patients work toward gaining increased balance and mastering functional skills. The goals of this phase include:

  • Walking with the least restrictive assistive device
  • Establishing a wearing schedule
  • Family training
  • Performing activities of daily living with the prosthesis
  • Maintaining the health of the remaining limb
  • Stair climbing
  • Skin and sock management
  • Home safety
  • Managing and maintaining the prosthesis
  • Transfers

Outpatient therapy for advanced prosthetic training

Following inpatient prosthetic training, or in some cases in place of, our team offers advanced prosthetic training on an outpatient basis. This stage of the amputee rehabilitation process builds on the skills learned in Phase 2 and focuses on maximizing a patient's independence without assistive devices, as appropriate. After mastering the initial prosthesis, patients are fitted with a permanent prosthesis and continue training to fine-tune walking with the permanent prosthetic device.

We offer amputee therapy at convenient outpatient locations throughout the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

Maintenance/follow-up in the amputee clinic

We offer ongoing follow-up care, regardless of where a patient first received care. Gait, skin and prosthetic fit are assessed and a fine-tuned prosthetic alignment is completed, if needed. We welcome patients to follow up as needed with questions or concerns, or to replace a prosthesis, if needed.

Outpatient amputee support group

This group provides information and emotional support for those who’ve experienced amputation of a limb. Family and friends are also welcome. Coordinated by our staff therapists who serve as an informational resource, the group members help each other solve practical problems and manage the challenges posed by amputation. The amputee support group meets on the third Thursday of the month from 5:00–6:30 pm. To confirm meeting details, call 484.596.5566 or email [email protected].

On average, patients begin prosthetic training three months after their initial surgery. Upon discharge, 93 percent return home. Most patients finish amputee rehabilitation being able to complete a majority of daily tasks, like walking or getting in and out of bed, without assistance.

Family support for amputees

Support from family can make a dramatic improvement to a patient's progress after amputation. For that reason, we incorporate family training into the amputee rehabilitation program. Our dedicated team provides training to teach family members how best to assist the patient in order to transition to home. To stay close during the initial inpatient stay, family traveling from afar may take advantage of our on-site family accommodations. Amputees face many unique challenges during rehabilitation and we keep family informed and involved throughout the entire process.

Driver Rehab Program

We also provide driving evaluations and training through our occupational therapist-led driver rehab program.

Amputees typically do two rounds of rehabilitation—one immediately after amputation and one when they’re ready for prosthetic training. The inpatient stay after amputation is generally seven to 14 days with 76 percent of patients returning home upon discharge.

Related specialties

Aquatic Therapy

Through the aquatic therapy program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, warm water helps patients relax, enhances functional movement, and boosts confidence and ability.

Assistive Technology Services

Disability and assistive technology combines technological invention with modern medicine, helping people with physical and cognitive disabilities acquire and use devices that help improve mobility and independence.

Vestibular Therapy

At Bryn Mawr Rehab we help patients with chronic or acute dizziness and vertigo get back to active, normal living. With several outpatient locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, there’s sure to be a vestibular therapist near you.

Horticultural Therapy Center

Getting well doesn’t just happen from a hospital bed or inside a gym. Sometimes, letting patients get back to nature is the key to physical and psychological recovery.

Lymphedema Management Program

Our lymphedema therapists help you achieve best results early and with continued treatment at outpatient locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Even in cases of chronic lymphedema, an active management program can reduce swelling and improve symptoms.

Equestrian Therapy

Equine-assisted therapy provides physical as well as cognitive benefits for a person’s recovery. As the horse walks, the repetitive swinging motion helps to improve the person’s balance, coordination and strength and muscle tone through the trunk and legs. Cognitive skills improve because riding requires balance, stability, timing and planning.

Work Hardening Program

For people with work-related injuries and chronic pain, we offer a range of therapies through RehabWorks, a worker rehabilitation program that brings together a multidisciplinary team to support people who have lost functional capacity due to a work-related illness or injury.

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