Utilization of prostheses among US veterans with traumatic amputation: a pilot survey

J Rehabil Res Dev. 1999 Apr;36(2):100-8.


No random surveys have been done to determine how effectively veterans with amputation can utilize their prostheses, and only one limited survey has been done of Scandinavians' use of lower-limb prostheses. A pilot survey of prosthetic problems was sent to all 170 US veteran soldiers who had traumatic amputations over the last 10 years, whose addresses could be supplied by the VA, and whose medical synopses showed them to be otherwise healthy when leaving the military. This subpopulation was selected as a "best case" group: those most likely to be active, young, and healthy enough to use their prostheses, as well as close enough to the military and veterans medical systems to get adequate treatment. If they have problems, the rest of the veterans with amputation, relatively older and more debilitated, are very likely to have far worse problems. Although only 45 responded (26%), all had significant problems using their prostheses for work. Most problems were related to the attachment method. Even if all nonrespondents were problem free, at least a quarter had very significant problems using their prostheses. This means that there are significant problems with current methods for attaching prostheses that need to be addressed. The first step should be a large survey of veterans with amputation to get an accurate assessment of the extent of prosthesis-related problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amputation Stumps
  • Amputation, Traumatic / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • United States
  • Veterans*