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  • SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital's Amputee Program is a comprehensive medical rehabilitation program providing clinical, technical and professional resources for individuals who have had a lower extremity amputation.  It provides individualized treatment programs aimed at helping each patient achieve independence and enhance quality of life. Therapeutic objectives of the Amputee Program include training in skills and techniques for:

    • Pre-prosthetic instruction
    • Skin care
    • Adaptation for activities of daily living
    • Prosthetic gait training
    • Prosthetic limb maintenance

    In addition to inpatient rehabilitation, SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital's amputee continuum of care also includes home health care, Day Institute services and outpatient prosthetic gait training.

    Inpatient Amputee Program

    Treatment programs are individualized to each patient, and are developed to accomplish a number of therapeutic goals, including:

    • Reduce swelling and shaping of the residual limb for prosthetic fit
    • Teach independence in ambulation and transfers without the prosthesis
    • Increase independence in daily living skills including use of adaptive equipment
    • Maintain range of motion and prevent contractures
    • Educate the patient and family concerning residual limb care, skin care and maintenance of the prosthesis
    • Improve general and specific muscle strength
    • Develop pre-vocational skills
    • Develop the patient's and family's coping skills
    • Facilitate community re-entry


    Patients are accepted for inpatient rehabilitation on the basis of physician referral. In order to be admitted to an SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital inpatient unit, it should be demonstrated that the individual:

    • is medically stable
    • has a potential for rehabilitation
    • is unable to function independently in a safe manner
    • has demonstrated impairment in mobility and other self-care activities

    Evaluation Process and Treatment Team

    A thorough evaluation is done to develop an individualized treatment plan. The patient's rehabilitation is coordinated by a team consisting of:

    • Physiatrist (medical doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation) who provides medical oversight
    • Physical Therapists who evaluate an individual's joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, balance and mobility
    • Occupational Therapists who evaluate an individual's ability to carry out activities of daily living such as toileting, bathing, dressing, and hand and fine motor skills
    • Dietitians who provide nutritional evaluation and follow up
    • Psychologists who provide emotional support and insight into the disability and transition to independent living
    • Nursing care following specific amputee care protocol

    Continuing Care

    Next levels of care in the rehabilitation continuum for amputee patients include:

    • Home Care: After discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, patients may receive continued occupational and physical therapy through SSM Health Home Care rehabilitation services. This helps with adjustment to the home environment and maintains functional gains while the limb is healing.
    • Day Institute Amputee Rehabilitation Program: When the wound has healed satisfactorily, patients are evaluated by the physiatrist and a representative from the prosthetic company. The appropriate prosthesis is prescribed based on each patient's goals, health status and activity level.
    • Prosthetic Training: Once the prosthesis has been fabricated, the patient has a choice of being enrolled in either an inpatient, Day Institute or outpatient comprehensive prosthetic gait training program. This is designed to help achieve the goals of attaining independence in mobility, transfers, ambulation and self-care with the prosthesis. Again, a comprehensive transdisciplinary (multiple disciplines working in conjunction with one another) team approach is utilized, including a prosthetist. The prosthetist will be available to make appropriate and timely adjustments/modifications to the prosthesis when required.