Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Breann Lamborn


Amputees -- rehabilitation; Exercise Therapy; Nutrition Therapy; Weight Reduction Programs; Aged


It is becoming more common for individuals to sustain a lower limb amputation, thus impacting their ability to participate in functional tasks of daily living such as ambulation, balance, dressing, driving, and toileting. Approximately two million people within the United States are living with an amputation, most commonly in the lower extremity (Amputation Coalition, 2013). According to Resnik and Borgia (2011), by the year 2050, the number of lower limb amputations will increase significantly due to the aging population who encounter a variety of debilitating diseases such as diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), dysvascular, and/or heart diseases. Weight management is an issue a significant percentage of individuals struggle with. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2012), 69.2 percent of Americans are overweight. This trend in weight gain is also present in the amputee population and significantly affects the quality of life for these individuals because it is more strenuous on their remaining joints. For those who have a lower limb amputation, the daily battle with weight issues impacts the way the prosthetic fits the affected limb. If an individual is overweight, there is more fatty tissue within their affected limb, thus preventing the prosthetist from firmly applying the socket to the limb. Whereas, for those who have firmer muscles and less fatty tissue, they are able to have a better fit of their prosthetic socket; therefore, giving patients, better control, support, and stability for daily activities (Kahle & Highsmith, 2008).

Significant research has been conducted regarding the various aspects of rehabilitation, strengthening, and community reintroduction for elderly clients who have undergone a lower limb amputation. However, these studies have not addressed the need for weight management as an essential aspect in this populations’ life. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to explore and develop a weight management resource for clinicians working with the elderly client who has experienced a lower limb amputation. These resources will consist of nutritional and fitness manuals to help individuals continually manage their weight to ensure their prosthetic device fits properly on a consistent basis.

Through extensive research of evidence-based literature, the authors identified key concepts used to develop a product that benefits the elderly population who have a lower limb amputation. With the concepts identified through the literature review, two manuals were produced to guide clinicians on proper implementation of therapeutic exercises and nutritional aspects of weight management to assist their patients. The manuals also contain client handouts, allowing the clients to take the procedures home with them to continue maintaining their weight management routine. The information provided within the manuals was meant to assist elderly individuals develop lifelong routines, habits, and roles to promote independence and quality of life. The anticipated results of this project are to assist clinicians in helping the elderly who have sustained a lower limb amputation maintain their weight on a regular basis, and ensure a consistent fit of their prosthetic device. This will then enable clients to participate more fully in daily occupations with increased volition and performance capacity.