Return to Work After Amputation

  • Helena Burger


The main objective in the rehabilitation of people following amputation is to restore or improve their functioning, which includes their return to work. People after lower or upper limb amputation have problems returning to work and working. Owing to the different functions of our lower and upper limbs, problems at work differ between both groups.

Most authors find the return to work rate to be about 66% (from 43.5 to 100% for participants after lower limb amputation and 53–100% for people after upper limb amputation). Twenty-two (22) to 67% of people after lower limb amputation retain the same occupation following amputation. Twenty (20) to 100% after upper limb amputation have to change it. Post-amputation jobs are generally more complex with a requirement for a higher level of general educational development and are physically less demanding. The return to work depends on general factors, such as age, gender and educational level; factors related to impairments and disabilities because of amputation (amputation level, multiple amputations, co-morbidity, reason for amputation, persistent stump problems, the time from the injury to obtaining a permanent prosthesis, wearing comfort of the prosthesis, walking distance and restrictions in mobility); rehabilitation; factors related to prosthesis; and factors related to work and policies (salary, higher job involvement, good support from the implementing body and the employer and social support network).

Vocational rehabilitation and counselling should become a part of rehabilitation programs for all people, who are of working age, following amputation. Better co-operation between professionals, such as rehabilitation team members, implementing bodies, company doctors and employers is necessary.


Unemployment Rate Work Part Time Vocational Rehabilitation Limb Amputation Inpatient Rehabilitation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of RehabilitationLjubljanaSlovenia

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