We are dedicated to helping every patient return to their community healthy, strong and with a renewed spark for life. As the only Level I Trauma rehabilitation hospital in the Inland Northwest, St Luke's has been helping patients with amputations regain their fullest lives for more than two decades.
No two amputations are alike, which is why our interdisciplinary team works closely with every patient to help them achieve their best outcomes. St. Luke’s specialty amputee program increases patient quality of life and prepares them to return to their lives as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Our outcomes speak to our excellence and to the perseverance of our amazing patients – we regularly discharge more patients to their homes than the national average for rehab facilities.
Although amputation surgeries may vary, our quality of care is constant. Our hallmarks include:
- Patient-centered model of care
- Deep respect for the wants and desires of our patients
- Recognition of our patients’ individuality
- Tailored treatment to achieve unique goals
- A safe and secure care setting
- Access to ongoing support groups for amputees and their families
An amputation can affect many aspects of functioning. Our skilled therapists are trained to meet you where you are, evaluate strengths and challenges and jump start the comprehensive recovery process.
Features of our care include:
- Patient-centered model of care
- Therapy five to seven days per week
- Contracts with specialty services such as labs, imaging and more
- Collaboration with regional and community centers for services
- Support group for patients with amputations and their families
- Recurring weekly education about amputation that is open to patients and families
- Outpatient Amputee Clinic provides ongoing care for our patients
Your physiatrist will monitor your underlying medical conditions to ensure that you are healthy and thriving, and use their specialized knowledge about post amputation recovery to make sure that everything we are doing is serving your health and healing. Physiatry will also coordinate with your medical providers as needed to ensure that you are well cared for while you are here, and you have the ongoing appointments that you need when you leave.
Rehab nurses are here 24/7, attending to your medical and personal needs and coordinating with the team. Many have specialty certifications and training in wound care and diabetes management.
Case managers are nurses who oversee your total stay. They will follow your progress and coordinate your discharge plan and your discharge needs, including referrals to community resources when needed. They also understand your insurance benefits and seek authorization, when needed.
After an illness or injury, it is important that your dietary needs are evaluated to ensure proper healing. Dieticians will make recommendations to meet your individual nutritional needs and provide education and training, when necessary.
An amputation can influence your ability to move, making navigating your home and community more difficult. Our physical therapists work with you and your family to evaluate your movement, build strength and balance, and help you regain your independence in movement. They will help you relearn or find new ways to do things, including:
- Get in and out of bed
- Get on and off a chair
- Walk or use a wheelchair, if needed
- Go up and down stairs
- Get in and out of a car
- Get up, if you fall
- Provide you and your family with education and training to build confidence
An amputation often makes it harder to complete daily activities, such as dressing, getting on or off the toilet, getting in or out of the shower, cooking a meal, managing medications and driving. Our occupational therapists will work with you to regain independence through use of individualized and functional tasks in order to reengage in the activities you need to do and those that are most important to you.
- Relearning how to safely complete everyday activities (such as getting dressed or cooking a meal) as independently as possible
- Identifying compensatory strategies to support your return to work, driving, school and other meaningful activities
- Assessing your safety for managing your medications, cooking and driving and making recommendations for return to these activities
- Providing you and your family with post amputation education and training to build confidence and increase safety before you return home
An amputation can impair your ability to engage in community activities and hobbies or pastimes. This happens because of changes to physical movement. Your recreation therapist will work to bridge the gaps to independence through:
- Helping you participate in leisure activities you enjoy
- Successful transition back home and into the community
- Anticipating challenges and identifying resources and work arounds before you even leave the hospital
St. Luke's wants to help patients throughout their stay and after. We offer an amputee support group every third Tuesday of the month from 11-12 p.m. Join us in a support group focused on injury adjustment, connection to community resources and meeting other survivors of amputations. To learn more, call 509-473-6681 or visit our Support Services page.
- Below knee amputation
- Above knee amputation
- Arm/hand amputations
- Foot amputations
Your first few days at St. Luke’s will focus on evaluations by all your caregivers. This will help you and your team to identify areas of strength and challenge, and be an opportunity to define what your goals are for your care.
Most patients have three hours of therapy per day, at least five days per week, though this can change a little from person to person. Therapists work with you where you are to move towards your goals. If you are ever feeling sick or tired, let your therapist know so that they can modify the session goals to allow you to participate at whatever level you can tolerate.
We encourage friends and family to attend and participate in therapy sessions, and also try to also make videos or provide handouts so that family can see the progress you’re making and the support you need.
A significant amount of recovery happens in the first three to six months after amputation surgery. It is important to focus this time on maintaining your flexibility and strength and monitoring for proper wound healing. You may have a special cast or dressing to wear that will help prepare you for a possible future prosthesis.
Recovery after an amputation is best when you are being challenged to complete tasks that you can successfully complete. When activities are too easy or too hard, we don’t get the same benefit.
Our therapists specialize in determining what the “just-right” challenge is for you – where you are challenged, but you can succeed at the activity. This builds your confidence. We work with your and your family to find challenges that are meaningful for you, and make sure to take how you are feeling into account every day.
Your rehabilitation team will meet weekly to discuss discharge planning. These discussions will include:
- Determining your estimated discharge date
- Thinking about where you will go after discharge and making this as safe as possible
- Anticipating your need for help from family and caregivers
- Recommendations for follow-up therapies and medical care
- Recommendations for community services (meal delivery, caregiver services, transportation)
- Team collaboration to solve any barriers to you returning home safely
When it’s your time to leave St. Luke’s, we will determine what therapies you would still benefit from and arrange continued services. These follow up services may include:
- Outpatient therapies
- Home health therapies
- Home health nursing
- Bath aide
Your rehab doctor will determine what follow up medical appointments are required and St. Luke’s will schedule them for after discharge.