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Understanding Lower Extremity Limb Loss

presented by Alicia White

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Treating a patient with limb loss has the potential to be intimidating to a physical therapist with no background of that patient population. With an in depth understanding of patients with amputations, the physical therapist will be better prepared to provide appropriate rehabilitation. The following lecture and supplemental materials will offer an evidence based knowledge foundation for treating patients with limb loss. Following the lecture, the physical therapist will be able to understand an appropriate approach for rehabilitation of patients with amputations.

Meet Your Instructor

Alicia White, PT, DPT, ATC

Dr. Alicia White graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University in 2004 with a degree in athletic training. She continued her studies at the University of Miami where she earned a doctorate in physical therapy in 2007. Dr. White worked at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas for ten years where she treated high-level patients…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Reasons for Amputations

It is imperative to understand “why” your patient may be coming to you and how to appropriately address each patient. Every patient is unique, however, by understanding the common reasons for amputations, you will be better prepared to treat your patient.

2. Level of Amputations and Surgical Procedures

Understanding the level of amputation will better help you prepare for post op precautions and expectations. Understanding surgical procedures will assist with creating an appropriate plan of care. Understanding both the level of amputation and the available surgical procedures will better help you educate the patient on their post op expectations.

3. Elective Amputation Considerations

Some patients will begin treatment with you prior to their amputations. They will look to you for guidance with any surgical choices they may have. It is imperative that you understand these considerations to be able to assist the patient with their concerns.

4. Neurological Implications

Neurological implications post amputations present their own unique and significant recovery techniques. The therapist must understand these implications, be able to explain them to the patient, and treat them accordingly.

5. Wound Healing

Patients can potentially lose a limb secondary to poor wound healing. Even if that is not the case, they will have a suture line that must meet the demands of prosthetic wear without breakdown. It is imperative to be able to treat the wound and educate the patient to prevent further wounds.

6. Nutrition and Weight Management

Weight management and long term physical fitness will determine activity levels of this patient population for the remainder of their lives. Proper nutrition will help to maintain a healthy weight, which promotes proper socket fit, optimal energy expenditure with activity, and appropriate wound healing.

7. Patient Education

The internet provides a wealth of information for patients with amputations, but it is still imperative to help the patient understand their new diagnosis, assist them with deciphering appropriate internet information, and increase their awareness of organizations available to assist them in the community.

More Courses in this Series

Evaluating Patients with Amputations

Presented by Alicia White, PT, DPT, ATC

Evaluating Patients with Amputations

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Proper documentation is necessary to create a plan of care for any patient population, as well as to justify treatment. Patients with amputations are a specific subpopulation with their own characteristics that require the appropriate attention to assist with treatment and patient education. The following presentation will address the components of an inclusive evaluation for patients with amputations. By focusing on subjective and objective intakes, as well as appropriate functional outcomes measures, the physical therapist will be better prepared to assist with goal setting and patient expectations. A thorough evaluation will provide the foundation for a successful plan of care.

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Rehabilitation after Lower Extremity Limb Loss

Presented by Alicia White, PT, DPT, ATC

Rehabilitation after Lower Extremity Limb Loss

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This course will provide a standard plan of care, including therapeutic exercise, to promote proper ambulation with a prosthesis. This course should be the most valuable of the entire series as it provides a therapeutic progression through all four phases of rehabilitation. The patient handouts will assist with home exercise programs and patient education, two key components of prosthetic rehabilitation. Understanding the progression of therapeutic exercise will provide the clinician with the appropriate skills to successfully treat any patient with an amputation.

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Prosthetic Training After Lower Extremity Limb Loss

Presented by Alicia White, PT, DPT, ATC

Prosthetic Training After Lower Extremity Limb Loss

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This course will provide the basics of gait training with a prosthesis. In order for a physical therapist to educate a patient to ambulate with a prosthesis, they must first understand typical gait. Incorporating the basics of typical gait with prosthetic ambulation, regardless of the prosthetic technology, will result in a functional movement pattern for the patient. Understanding the key components of gait training with a prosthesis will provide the clinician with the appropriate skills to successfully treat any patient with an amputation.

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Pre-Prosthetic Management of Lower Limb Amputation

Presented by John Fergason, CPO

Pre-Prosthetic Management of Lower Limb Amputation

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Proper early care of the patient who has sustained lower limb amputation is critical for obtaining successful functional outcomes once fitting and ambulation with a prosthesis have begun. This course will present the current status of amputation etiology, incidence, and prevalence in the United States. Following this framework, a method of limb care and preparation will be presented as well as several treatment options that can be applied to the individual rehabilitation needs and prognosis of the patient.

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Understanding the Transtibial and Transfemoral Limb/Socket Interfaces

Presented by John Fergason, CPO

Understanding the Transtibial and Transfemoral Limb/Socket Interfaces

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Why is the interaction between the residual limb and the socket so critical? Many fitting problems can be solved if a full understanding of the socket biomechanics is gained. This course relates the forces that occur on the limb in each phase of gait, allowing the clinician to isolate issues that may hinder progress in therapy. It also explores why the training of the patient with a transfemoral amputation is so much more complicated. The transfemoral patient has no direct muscle control of the knee function. Knee stability and control are of paramount importance to maintain safety and stability during ambulation. This course will correlate the forces that occur both on the limb and the knee to each phase of gait. Problem solving can be augmented by noting the knee stability at each phase of gait and how the skin appears after ambulation.

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The Physical Therapist and Prosthetics

Presented by John Fergason, CPO

The Physical Therapist and Prosthetics

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the technology that is available for your patients with limb loss? Just when you thought you had it figured out, a patient is referred with a system you are completely unfamiliar with! This course will assist you with understanding the prosthetic basics necessary to have successful early therapy sessions with your limb loss clients.

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Recognizing Common Hindrances to Physical Therapy Progression

Presented by John Fergason, CPO

Recognizing Common Hindrances to Physical Therapy Progression

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Your physical therapy sessions are valuable and often limited, therefore it is of utmost importance to recognize when a prosthetic problem is within your scope to correct or must be given attention by the prosthetist. This course will give you the tools needed to evaluate some of the most common pitfalls to physical therapy progression and either correct them when able or relay accurate information to the prosthetist for correction.

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