Return to work after lower limb amputation

Disabil Rehabil. 2007 Sep 15;29(17):1323-9. doi: 10.1080/09638280701320797.


Purpose: To review the literature on return to work after lower limb amputation.

Method: A comprehensive review of literature on return to work after lower limb amputation was carried out, searching MEDLINE and PubMED.

Results: Most authors found return-to-work rate to be about 66%. Between 22 and 67% of the subjects retained the same occupation, while the remainder had to change occupation. Post-amputation jobs were generally more complex with a requirement for a higher level of general educational development and were physically less demanding. The return to work depends on: general factors, such as age, gender and educational level; factors related to impairments and disabilities due to amputation (amputation level, multiple amputations, comorbidity, reason for amputation, persistent stump problems, the time from the injury to obtaining a permanent prosthesis, wearing comfort of the prosthesis, walking distance and restrictions in mobility); and factors related to work and policies (salary, higher job involvement, good support from the implementing body and the employer and social support network).

Conclusions: Subjects have problems returning to work after lower limb amputation. Many have to change their work and/or work only part-time. Vocational rehabilitation and counselling should become a part of rehabilitation programme for all subjects who are of working age after lower limb amputation. Better cooperation between professionals, such as rehabilitation team members, implementing bodies, company doctors and the employers, is necessary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Amputees / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • Time Factors