Monday, March 05, 2007

Management of Bilateral Lower Extremity Amputees

In response to e-mail, regarding care and rehab of bilateral lower extremity amputees, here is a very good article from The American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists.

Jack E Uellendahl, CPOHanger Prosthetics and OrthoticsPhoenix Arizona
The bilateral lower limb amputee poses unique challenges to the rehabilitation team as they seek to restore functional mobility. Modern fitting techniques and state-ofthe- art componentry allow for improved function and comfort compared to what was possible in the recent past. As medical care and rehabilitation techniques continue to improve, patients are living longer, resulting in an increase in the number of bilateral amputations. Esquenazi reports that fifty percent of the patients who suffer a lower limb amputation because of disease are at risk for a second amputation within 3 years. In light of these statistics, it is imperative that the healthcare professionals serving the needs of amputees are well versed in the special needs of the bilateral amputee.
Factors that influence the successful rehabilitation of the bilateral lower limb amputee are numerous. The level of limb loss, particularly the presence of physiological knee joints and the general strength and health of the amputee are key indicators of the successful use of prostheses. Careful attention to the details of socket fit, prosthesis alignment and component selection following sound prosthetic principles along with the services of an experienced rehabilitation team will optimize the ambulation potential of the bilateral amputee. Given these advantages and the determination of the amputee to succeed, a positive outcome is attainable. The rehabilitation team should maintain an open mind. Thoughtful use of available assistive technologies including, but not limited to, state-of-the-art prosthetic components can be of significant benefit to the bilateral amputee.

Please go to link for more information on this subject!

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