person with prostetic leg

Amputations are serious and often traumatic surgeries and affect an estimated 2 million Americans. An amputation could be necessary after a number of different traumas, including:

  • Motor vehicle accidents

  • Physical assaults

  • Natural disasters

  • Illness

The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute traumatic injuries and amputations team, led by Michael Munin, MD, is trained in managing the care of patients from point of injury through the rehabilitation process. A physician will access the injury either right before or soon after surgery, while the patient is in recovery. After the initial assessment, an individualized care plan is developed. Typically these care plans include addressing hip and/or knee tightness, the health of the remaining leg, and pain management with the goal being to restore preamputation function.

Once patients are fitted for their prosthetics, they work with a team of physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians and physical therapists for the next phase of their recovery.

The team works with the patients to help them put weight on the prosthetic and to build strength. Once patients are able to stand, the goal is to have them advance their range of motion and eventually develop a stable walking pattern. Ultimately, patients should be able to walk down the street without anyone being able to tell they have a prosthetic leg.

In addition to offering rehabilitation, the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute offers a variety of patient support groups and peer-to-peer counseling.