Having a non-traumatic lower limb amputation (LLA) is most often associated with severe illness (several comorbidities) and increased mortality, and, therefore, a patient group that will potentially benefit from an enhanced recovery program. Loss of muscle strength (universal) is common before a LLA, in addition to post-amputation balance deficits. The LLA research-focus in PMR-C is to investigate deficits, and to investigate the effectiveness of physical rehabilitation modalities to enhance recovery after a LLA. We systematically quantify deficits in muscle strength and balance, and examine the association with functional performance after surgery – along with other key clinical symptoms – to gain a detailed understanding of these impairments. We then explore the feasibility of early-commenced, impairment-directed physical rehabilitation modalities. The rehabilitation modalities are typically simple, they are designed on the basis of identified deficits, and they use a basic exercise physiology rationale. If a rehabilitation modality seems feasible: that is, can it be performed progressively without exacerbating pre-defined post-operative symptoms, the effectiveness of the rehabilitation modality is finally investigated in a randomized controlled design.
Kristensen MT, Holm G, Kirketerp K, Krasheninnikoff M. Gebuhr P (2012). Very low survival rates after non-traumatic lower limb amputation in a consecutive series: What to do? Interact Cardiovasc Thor Surg 14: 543-547.