The role of Rehabilitation in pediatric amputation– A 10-year retrospective study in a Portuguese
population

February 10, 2022 Advances in Health Care & Medical Education No Comments

Introduction: Limb amputation in pediatric population, whether congenital or acquired, has
a set of attributes that require a different medical approach and rehabilitation management.
Objectives: To characterize the pediatric population referred to the Amputee Rehabilitation
consultation and evaluate amputation type and segment relationship with prosthesis usage.
Material and methods: We conducted a retrospective study based on the clinical
information from patients referred to the Pediatric Rehabilitation consultation between
January 2011 and March 2021. The variables analyzed included gender, type, and etiology
of amputation, amputation level, age of prosthesis, time to the first prosthesis, pre-prosthetic
training, number of components prescribed, waiting time per component, and prosthesis
use.
Results: The study included 50 patients, 68% of congenital etiology. Within the group of
acquired amputations, 62.5% had neoplastic causes. The initial use of a prosthesis occurred
in 91.7% of the population with upper limb amputations. However, the final adhesion of the
upper limb prosthesis was only 50%. There was a statistically significant dependence and
a moderate association between the amputated segment and the final use of the prosthesis.
The abandonment risk of upper limb prosthesis was seven times higher than lower limb
prosthesis. The remaining variables did not demonstrate any other type of significant
association.
Conclusion: In pediatric age, congenital amputations are more frequent than acquired
causes. However, contrary to other data, malignancy was the most frequent etiology in
this study within acquired amputations. Regardless of the type of amputation, the use
of a prosthesis is related to the affected segment. The abandonment risk of upper limb
prostheses is significant, given the development of compensatory strategies that allow the
functional use of the limb. Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine plays an essential role
in the assessment and management of pediatric amputation. Prescribing at the right time,
carrying out an adequate program, with the child and family, is the key to their functional
independence.

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