The Human Performance Center offers physical therapy for individuals with lower extremity amputations throughout the process of recovery and rehabilitation.
While waiting for stump healing and prosthetic fitting following surgery, PT can be of benefit for lower extremity and core strengthening, flexibility, initial balance training and instruction in stump care. This assists the individual to be well prepared for successful use of prosthesis when the stump is adequately healed. Therapy includes instruction in a home exercise program.
Prosthetic training: Gait training with the new prosthesis begins once healing is complete. Therapists work closely with the prosthetist so that appropriate adjustments can be made to optimize walking, stepping or running with the prosthesis. Patients often begin initial gait training with the prosthesis starting with standing and walking in the parallel bars and quickly advancing to use of a walker or crutches. Development of proper gait mechanics throughout the trunk, pelvis and both lower extremities is emphasized to accomplish an efficient and comfortable gait (walking) pattern. The therapist gives guidance as to the most appropriate assistive device as progress is made.
As the individual progresses, balance and agility training are included with higher level activities to achieve the ability to walk safely on all types of surfaces, to boost confidence and to return to an active lifestyle. A computerized force plate system is available to assess and train weight shift and center of gravity control. Use of gym equipment (treadmill, elliptical trainer, nu-step) may also be used.