Amputee Rehabilitation

The amputee rehabilitation program at St. Charles is designed to enhance quality of life and reduce the medical, emotional, social and economic effects that can result from the loss of limb. 


Whether through disease such as peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or diabetes or through trauma from motor vehicle, motorcycle, industrial or other accidents, amputations are a life-altering event.

A team approach coordinates the various aspects of care.  Members of the team include  physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation), nurses, therapists (physical, occupational, and recreational), psychologists, prosthetists (clinician involved in assessing patients for prosthesis or artificial limb), dieticians, care managers and social workers who evaluate the patient in order to individualize a plan of care.  Patient and family involvement is key to the successful outcome of rehabilitation.

Patients are often seen by the rehabilitation team in two phases:  

Phase I – rehabilitation program designed to provide care to those who have not yet received a prosthesis.  Often times, patients require time for their bodies to heal prior to being ready for a prosthesis.  

Phase II – rehabilitation program designed to provide care to those who have received prosthesis.  This may require another stay on the inpatient rehabilitation unit.

The goals of amputation rehabilitation are similar for pre-prosthetic and prosthetic training phases:

  • Residual limb care and maintenance of skin integrity
  • Transfer training – bed to chair, chair to toilet, etc.
  • Maximize mobility via wheelchair, walker, or crutches
  • Management of activities of daily living (ADL’s) – bathing, dressing, toileting, homemaking
  • Coping with anxiety, depression, self esteem and body image

Specific to prosthetic training is:

  • Proper fitting and wearing of prosthesis
  • Balance training
  • Ambulation and gait training including stairs, inclines and curbs
  • Activities of daily living performed with prosthesis

An integral part of the amputee rehabilitation program is education. Patients will learn how to care for their residual limb, effective pain management and the concept of “phantom pain”, prevention of deformity, and reduction of risk factors that may include smoking , diet, exercise. Patients will be provided with community resources available such as vocational assessment, driver training, recreational opportunities and home modifications.

To accomplish these goals, St. Charles Rehabilitation offers a continuum of care including inpatient and outpatient services.

For more information about Amputee Rehabilitation at St. Charles, please call (631) 474-6797.

Amputee Rehabilitation