We are an Outpatient Amputee Program at GF Strong Rehab Centre provided by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Amputee rehabilitation is the process of helping individuals with limb loss adjust to their amputation and begin their recovery to achieve their full physical, psychological and social potential. It involves learning how to care for your skin and prosthesis, as well as relearning basic self-care and mobility. Goals such as return to work, school, leisure, home and community activities will also be explored.
While some people may be seen for a pre-amputation consult, most people will not begin their rehab until at least 10 days after discharge from hospital following your amputation. Following an initial assessment, the goals of your rehab and frequency of your appointments will be established. This frequency may decrease over time as you do more at home and in your community.
A number of factors can influence the length of rehab, such as your skin healing, your ability to learn new ways of doing things, your goals, your level of fitness and your emotional adjustment to your amputation. There is also a lengthy prosthetic fitting process prior to receiving your final permanent prosthesis.
Learning to walk again, as normally as possible, takes a lot longer than most people think it should. It takes your residual limb some time to tolerate the pressures of your body weight and learn new skills with your prosthesis. A previously healthy person may
progress to walking as independently as able in approximately 3 months
following a below knee amputation and in approximately 5-7 months following an
above knee amputation.
Your rehab team may include a physiatrist (rehab doctor), physiotherapist, occupational therapist and social worker, depending on your needs. The team will also work closely with your prosthetist. Access to services such as dietary, driver rehab, psychology, recreation therapy, sexual health, and vocational rehab are available as required.
If you require a team assessment by a physiatrist (rehab doctor) and a prosthetist/orthotist/physiotherapist you may be referred to the G.F. Strong Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic using the GF Strong outpatient referral form.
Amputee Program referrals can
be made by a physiatrist (doctor who specializes in rehabilitation and
prosthetics) or another specialist or family doctor. Talk with your doctor first who can then refer you to us.
There are a few designated disabled parking stalls in the main entrance to the building as well as a small visitor parking lot. Paid parking is available at Children's Hospital on 28th Avenue. Report to the receptionist on your arrival.
We see a variety of people with amputations:
New amputees with upper limb or lower limb amputations
Mature amputees who desire functional upgrading
Elective or voluntary amputees, people considering amputation for longstanding chronic pain and dysfunction (previous injuries)
Out of town admissions are considered on a case by case basis when this service is not available in your home community.
Peer Visitor Program (Amputee Coalition of Canada) - For Lower Mainland referrals or for more information to become a Certified Peer Visitor, email email@example.com
Amputee Education and Support Group G.F. Strong - Meets 3rd Tuesday of the month at G.F. Strong Rehab Centre