Adjustments to amputation and an artificial limb in lower limb amputees

Prosthet Orthot Int. 2014 Apr;38(2):115-21. doi: 10.1177/0309364613489332. Epub 2013 May 30.


Background: Positive adjustments to amputation and an artificial limb play important roles in the rehabilitation process.

Objectives: To study the different facets of adjustments to amputation and an artificial limb in lower limb amputees and to assess the possible role of different background and amputation-related factors that could potentially influence these adjustments.

Study design: Cross-sectional.

Methods: Adult unilateral and non-congenital lower limb amputees (n = 368) met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using structured questionnaires including patient's background, amputation and the Trinity Amputation and Prosthesis Experience Scales.

Results: Amputees were on average satisfied with the functioning of the prosthesis, moderately psychosocially adjusted and not restricted in performing functional and social activities, except for athletic activities. Age, employment, daily use of prosthesis and assistive device use were the most important factors associated with adjustments to amputation and prosthesis, followed by gender, co-morbidity and amputation level.

Conclusions: Evaluation of employment status and measures to curb unemployment through vocational rehabilitation and providing assistance for placement should be intrinsic to the rehabilitation programme. Future studies are envisaged to understand the underlying factors determining the extent of daily use of prosthesis and the reasons for the use of assistive devices by the amputees. Clinical relevance Proper appraisal and measures to alleviate employment and co-morbidity, related issues, routine evaluation of daily use of prosthesis and providing appropriate gait training might facilitate immediate and long-term adjustment.

Keywords: Rehabilitation; amputation; leg; prosthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Amputation / psychology*
  • Amputees / psychology*
  • Amputees / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Lower Extremity / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires