Inpatient amputee program

Nearly two million people in the U.S. are living with limb loss—a complex health issue that requires highly specialized rehabilitation. That's why we developed our Inpatient Amputee Rehabilitation Program. One of just a handful of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)-accredited amputation rehabilitation programs in the region, it is now attracting a diverse population of patients from throughout the country.

At MedStar Health National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), we focus on the whole person, helping patients reach the highest level of health and independence possible. Our interdisciplinary team approach to care includes the expertise of a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, nurses, a psychologist, physical, occupational, and recreational therapists, a nutritionist, a prosthetist, and a care coordinator.

Our goal is to help patients deal with the multiple effects of limb loss by teaching them how to tackle the daily activities of life, while building their strength and increasing their endurance.

Most patients come to MedStar Health NRH immediately following their amputation. Sometimes our consultants will meet with patients while they are still in an acute care setting as a way to prepare them for what can be a very intensive and challenging rehabilitation program.

MedStar Health NRH Amputee Program highlights

  • Program is recognized as an Amputee Coalition Certified Hospital Partner.

  • Program provides resources to Peer Mentors through MedStar Health NRH and Hanger's Peer Mentor Program.

  • We treat both single and multiple limb amputation in both the upper and lower extremity.

  • The average inpatient stay lasts two weeks.

  • Our nutritionist teaches patients about adopting a diet to promote healing.

  • Our psychologist helps patients deal with the emotional issues that accompany limb loss.

  • An inpatient support group is available to help patients cope with their new condition

  • Patients learn important self-care regimens in order to prevent infections, skin ulcers, blood clots, and other medical complications.

  • Additional education on diet and blood glucose control is provided for patients with diabetes.

  • Our specialized therapy program helps prepare patients for living with the assistance of a prosthesis.

  • A team of certified prosthetists who can design, fit, and manufacture customized prostheses are available on-site.

After being discharged from our inpatient program, many patients continue their training and therapy at one of our many outpatient sites located throughout the region. Likewise, we are here for patients if they require modifications in their prostheses—a replacement limb—or other adaptive equipment to improve their quality of life.

Program outcomes

To learn more about our program outcomes, please click here.

Additional resources

Many patients take advantage of MedStar Health NRH’s active Adaptive Sports Program  and our Amputee Support Group, which provides an opportunity for patients to share their experiences with others living with limb loss. Opportunities are also available for patients to become a peer mentor (or mentee) to others with limb loss. MedStar Health NRH Amputee program is partnered with Amputee Coalition to offer expertise, training curriculum, and patient education materials to integrate a highly successful peer support program into our rehabilitation.


Outpatient amputee program

Our outpatient services combine evaluation and education with goal-directed rehabilitation. Our goal is to help adults and adolescents with limb loss be as functional and independent as possible at home, at work or school, and in the community. All services are provided as part of a coordinated team approach, and each patient’s treatment plan is written according to the individual’s personal needs and goals.

Patient care is managed by an interdisciplinary team consisting of board-certified physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, prosthetists, and other rehabilitation professionals as needed. The team specializes in working with individuals who have had amputations and assists patients in understanding and managing their unique physical, psychosocial, and daily living needs.

Services offered

  • Assessment is available for recommendations to increase home accessibility.
  • Driving program available to assess, recommend, and contract modifications to an automobile.
  • Comprehensive medical evaluation and treatment, including pre-amputation consultation for surgical patients.
  • Medical assessment for prosthetic needs fabrication, fitting, and repair of prostheses on site through preferred prosthetic companies and durable medical equipment companies.
  • Fabrication, fitting, and repair of orthotics, orthopedic shoes, and braces as needed.
  • Evaluation and recommendations for wheelchairs, assistive devices, and other equipment, as well as training in equipment use.
  • Assessment, adjustments, and recommendations for ambulation with and without a prosthesis.
  • Recommendations for adaptations in daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, and home management.
  • Patient and family education assessment of pain management needs.

For assistance with getting back to work after your injury or illness, we can help link you with your state vocational rehabilitation agency.

Arm Amputee Program

The Arm Amputee Program at MedStar Health NRH is an innovative program addressing the dynamic physical, psychosocial, and functional needs of those with arm loss. Our physicians, prosthetists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and researchers have extensive experience, and are trained in the most advanced technologies. This enables them to better understand the complexities associated with upper limb amputations and to implement the most effective plan of care for each individual.

Providing more than physical care

The Arm Amputee Program is a trusted and leading resource for individuals with arm amputation. Our goal is to not only provide medical treatment and physical rehabilitation, but also to meet all the needs of our patients.

We offer:

  • Highly specialized expert clinicians
  • Sports and leisure equipment modification
  • Adaptive driving program
  • Resources for employment counseling

The Arm Amputee Program is dedicated to:

  • Providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to enable our patients to quickly return to their lives
  • Utilizing the most advanced equipment and procedures to improve, whenever possible, an individual's current function
  • Advancing the care of people with arm loss through clinical and scientific research
  • Training the next generation of physicians, therapists, and orthotists

Comprehensive staffing

The Arm Amputee Program is staffed by a team of physicians, prosthetists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and researchers who have extensive experience in medical rehabilitation and a focus on post-amputation care. These experts work closely together to develop a customized plan of care for each patient. The team members consistently communicate throughout the patient's rehabilitation program, making adjustments as necessary to help restore each patient to optimal health and functioning.

A team approach

The Arm Amputee Program is based on a team approach that leads to the highest level of independence and quality of life possible for our patients. That's why we encourage, enable, and expect our patients to play an active role in planning their own recovery. The benefit of this approach is optimal results, which are achieved through a rehabilitation program that is uniquely tailored to the individual.

Foot orthotics evaluation and casting services

Pain in the spine and lower extremities can result from a single injury or from the cumulative effects of abnormal foot function over time. Custom foot orthoses, also referred to as orthotics, are used to help support the foot and improve alignment in the lower extremities during standing and walking. In combination with exercises and patient education, orthotics can help improve the position and function of the lower extremities, thereby reducing pain.

We offer comprehensive foot orthotics evaluation and casting services to persons with acute or chronic:

  • Foot, ankle, or knee pain

  • Hip or back pain

  • Spinal problems

  • Pain after an injury or surgery

Foot orthotics evaluation and casting services are provided by trained, experienced physical therapists. These services include:

  • Full biomechanical assessment of the lower body, from the foot to the spine

  • Comprehensive evaluation of the person’s standing, walking, and running body mechanics

  • Foot casting—making a mold of the foot to manufacture a custom foot orthosis (insole for the shoe)

  • Provision of custom-made orthoses to improve body symmetry, alignment, and balance

  • Patient education and training

A prescription from a physician is generally required for foot orthotics evaluation and casting services.