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A gold badge with a blue ribbon representing Best Hospitals in Rehabilitation for 2023-2024.If you or someone you love had an amputation, Atrium Health Carolinas Rehabilitation is here for you. We help adults and children adapt physically and psychologically so they can return to an active and independent lifestyle as quickly as possible. We start supporting patients before their initial surgery and provide a lifetime of care.





Patient Care – What to Expect

Our team specializes in innovative treatment and amputation management. We’ll start rehabilitation as soon as possible to help you recover and regain your strength. Patients begin Carolina Rehabilitation's amputee program in the hospital immediately after surgery. For those that need additional support before going home, they will continue the program in inpatient rehab. Others will continue the program at one of the outpatient clinics.

Here’s why families choose us:

  • Advanced prostheses: We work closely with prosthetics teams that use leading-edge design. You’ll have access to custom-made prostheses, which can include electronic upper limbs and specialized limbs designed for specific sports or activities.
  • Personalized, expert care: Our specialized therapists will help you stay mobile and strong by creating a care plan tailored to your needs.
  • Compassionate support: We offer monthly support groups and a peer mentorship program, so you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through. Members benefit from presentations from local and national experts in amputee care. They also learn from others in the group about everything from altering clothes to advice about airplane travel.
  • Complete care: Some patients may require limb lengthening prior to osseointegration surgery to accommodate prosthesis. Most patients require nerve surgery to help with phantom limb pain or improve use of myoelectric prothesis.

What We Treat

We see patients who were born without an appendage or experienced an accident, disease or trauma. The most common types of amputations we treat include:

Upper limb amputations:

  • Shoulder disarticulation
  • Above the elbow amputation
  • Elbow disarticulation
  • Below the elbow amputation
  • Partial hand amputation
  • Finger amputation

Lower limb amputations:

  • Hip disarticulation
  • Above the knee amputation
  • Knee disarticulation
  • Below the knee amputation
  • Syme’s amputation (ankle disarticulation)
  • Partial foot amputation
  • Toe amputation

Amputation Rehabilitation Treatments and Services

We’ll help you manage all aspects of living with an amputation, from finding the right prosthesis to helping you stay active. Our treatments and programs include:

Physical Therapy After Amputation

Our physical therapists use the latest techniques to help you stay strong, comfortable and mobile after an amputation. We’ll support you by offering:

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises to help you move more naturally and prevent injury. This is especially important to prepare the lower limb muscles for your prosthesis so they are loose and strong enough to help you walk.
  • Balance rehabilitation to help you sit, stand and walk safely and comfortably.
  • Phantom limb pain management to reduce pain in your residual limb using rubbing, tapping and gentle massaging. We can also use a technique called mirror therapy that helps your train your brain to stop feeling phantom limb pain.
  • Gait training exercises to help you learn to walk and move with your prosthesis. This may include using parallel bars, testing assistive devices like a cane or walker or using a harness system so you can practice walking without worrying about falling.
  • Wound care and support to make sure your wound and surgery incision is healing properly, manage swelling after surgery and care for scar tissue when the incision is closed. We also often use special tools to help you heal. For example, we may use limb protectors for below-knee amputations, to keep your limb in the correct position to prepare for using a prosthesis.

Amputation Recovery Timeline

Every patient’s recovery is different, but recovery takes between six and eight months for most patients. A typical recovery timeline includes:

  • Staples or sutures removed three to four weeks after an amputation
  • Prosthesis fitting takes place six to eight weeks after the amputation
  • Gait training lasts about eight to 12

Support Managing Your Amputation

Beyond physical therapy, our team will support you through all aspects of living without a limb. Our patients have access to:

  • Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP): From tennis to water-skiing, our ASAP program can help you stay active and find a sport you love after an amputation.
  • Collaboration with expert surgeons: We can refer patients with amputation to additional elective procedures, as needed, including osseointegration, targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), and peripheral nerve stimulation.
  • Prosthetics clinic: Physiatrist and prosthetists can join your therapy appointment and answer questions, adjust your prosthesis and address common problems muscle tightness or weakness.
  • Wheelchair Seating Clinic: If you need a wheelchair, our advanced technology professional can help you choose the right one. Whether it’s figuring out the correct cushioning, teaching you how to operate the wheelchair or helping you deal with any back pain from the chair, we’ll make sure you’re satisfied with your selection.

Your Care Team

Our experts work with many other specialists to make sure you get the care you need. Our care team includes:

  • Anesthesiologist who can assist with pain management
  • Peer mentors who provide emotional support and connect you with helpful resources
  • Hospitalists who help inpatients manage all aspects of their health during their time at the hospital
  • Physiatrists who help manage infection and pain in the feet and legs
  • Prosthetists who are specially trained to design, measure and adjust your prosthesis
  • Psychologist and psychiatrists who help you cope with the mental health aspects of amputation
  • Surgeons who can consult with your rehabilitation team regarding your unique condition as you recover
  • Wound care specialists who help you care for your wound after injury