PP311 – VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Upper Extremity Amputation Rehabilitation
Traumatic upper limb injuries are the most common cause of upper limb amputations within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). From 2001-2014, more than 700 Service Members with some level of upper limb amputation (including partial hand and digits) were cared for in one of three military advanced rehabilitation facilities, comprising approximately 30 percent of the total amputation population treated. More than 32,000 Veterans with some level (including partial hand and digits) of upper limb amputation (18 percent of the total amputation population) were cared for in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) since 2000.The loss of a lower extremity limits an individual’s mobility; however, the loss of an upper extremity destroys the person’s independence.
Expertise for upper limb amputations is very limited across many healthcare disciplines. However, a tremendous amount of knowledge, advancement, and expertise has been acquired during the care of patients with upper limb amputation, not only the combat-related cohorts from Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn, but also from managing the rehabilitation needs of aging Veterans with upper limb loss.
With the development of the VA/DoD Upper Extremity Amputation Rehabilitation (UEAR) Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG), VA and DoD subject matter experts culminate more than a decade of research, unprecedented clinical experience, and recommendations for funding for new technologies for the upper limb loss patient. The VA/DoD UEAR CPG translates these contributions into a standard of care, clinical practice, and ultimately for the improved health, quality of life, and satisfaction for this population of patients.