April is Limb Loss Awareness Month in Nebraska, and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals is grateful to highlight the necessity of rehabilitation for patients who have experienced an amputation.
“This month is a great time to bring attention and recognition to the people who have been impacted by limb loss and provide advocacy for this population,” Sarah Smith, Madonna’s Amputation Program manager, said. “Madonna has a comprehensive Amputation Program, complete with the in-house Hanger clinic and trained prosthetists on-site to make the transition seamless between levels of care."
Madonna's Amputation Program helps individuals return to the best possible level of function following an amputation. With our experts in medical rehabilitation, clinical research conducted in a state-of-the-art gait and mobility lab, and advanced technology, Madonna’s patients have the foundation to achieve their fullest potential. Our lifelong commitment to patient support and advocacy empowers our patients to move beyond what they thought was possible.
During the 2021 fiscal year, Madonna served 81 patients who experienced limb loss. Smith’s goal as program manager is to facilitate the highest quality patient care for amputees, as well as educate them on the numerous resources available to them as they return to their communities.
“I want patients to know they have the opportunity to have in-person peer visitors during their stay and are encouraged to participate in our monthly Amputee Networking Group, which we currently hold virtually,” Smith said.
At Madonna, patients who are living with limb loss benefit from rehabilitation by receiving mobility training for transfers, wheelchair management, and completing activities of daily living including bathing, dressing and toileting. Staff also guide patients through managing architectural barriers within their home, including stairs. Madonna offers a home assessment program with expert recommendations on home modifications for their new level of mobility. Patients who experience limb loss also receive education on their residual limb management, edema management, positioning and pain control, as well as pre-prosthetic training to prepare them to receive their prosthetic device.
As they navigate their new normal, patients with limb loss are able to simulate real-life events and ensure they are comfortable with new ways to get tasks done. Madonna’s Independence Square is a simulated community where patients can practice real-life tasks, such as grocery shopping, cooking a meal, transferring in and out of a vehicle or getting in and out of bed. Simulating real-life activities is not only critical to regaining the maximum level of independence, but it also helps build confidence and regain skills such as reaching and grasping, making a list, memory, cognitive skills and communication.
“While limb loss is a major life change, you can continue to enjoy those activities and hobbies you did before, just in a different way,” Smith said. “And there is a huge support system out there for those who are looking for it!”
For more information on Madonna’s Amputation Program, click here.