Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Gary Schindler


Amputees -- education; Amputees -- rehabilitation; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: The purpose of this case study is to present the reader with a detailed description of the physical therapy provided for a diabetic lower extremity amputee. As the number of amputations across America steadily increase, there is an elevated importance of understanding the prevalence, causes, and reasons for amputations and which interventions are most effective in increasing a patient's quality of life.

Case Description: The patient is a 77 year old male with significant past medical history of type I diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and osteoarthritis. This patient has significant gross muscle weakness in both his upper and lower extremities. Following his amputation proper prosthetic fitting could not be completed secondary to his significant weakness. Physical therapy intervention focused on functional exercises to help this patient return home safely with complete independence.

Discussion: Most amputees receive a prosthetic shortly after surgery; however, a small amount of new amputees do not have the strength, stamina, and independence to begin functioning with a prosthetic immediately after surgery. Further research needs to be conducted focusing on which interventions and treatment strategies are most effective for patients that are not able to be fit with a prosthetic following surgery.