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Book Review: Amputations and Prosthetics: A Case Study Approach, second edition, 2002
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Amputations and Prosthetics: A Case Study Approach

Title: Amputations and Prosthetics: A Case Study Approach, second edition, 2002

Author:  Bella J. May
Publisher: F. A Davis Company, 276 pages
Reviewed by: Kristin J. Carnahan, CPO, FAAOP

This text is written by a physical therapist and intended per the Preface to be a resource for PT and PTA students while in school. 

This text presents an overview of all aspects of care for people with amputation, beginning with an overview of common etiologies that lead to major limb amputation, progressing to wound care, post-operative care when amputation is required, consideration of prosthetic interventions for each amputation level, prosthesis evaluation, gait training, and long-term care. The information is interwoven with a series of case studies that progress through each phase of care for four sample patients. Each chapter begins with clearly stated objectives, and where applicable, activities are assigned related to the case study patients to apply the concepts from the chapter. The final two chapters present considerations for persons with upper limb amputation and the pediatric patient with amputation, respectively.

As would be expected for the targeted population, one of the most thorough chapters is related to prosthetic management, how to evaluate fit, components, and condition of consumable items such as liners, and gait deviations as well as gait training.

In summary: This book is well written and organized, and the information provided is a good but not exhaustive overview of all aspects of amputation and prosthetic care. 

For the intended purpose, this text provides sound information with very little exception that can give a PT or PTA student, or another healthcare professional, a basic understanding of the elements of care for persons with amputation as well as aspects of prosthesis design. Additionally, the text includes information to consider for patient-specific recommendations of components. The prosthesis evaluation section and gait deviation discussions are particularly thorough, though there is less emphasis on understanding and guiding patients on sock management than would be expected, as proper sock management is a prevalent aspect of patient education for which physical therapists are relied upon to support and reinforce with patients.

The descriptions of some aspects of care are outdated, as this edition of the text was published in 2002. With regard to the amputation technique, the Ertl technique is not mentioned, and there is no mention of osseointegration, though the overview of the posterior flap technique for the transtibial level amputation is quite thorough. Post-operative care does not mention pre-fabricated removable rigid dressings which are commonly used today. Additionally, suspension techniques do not mention active vacuum suspension for transtibial or transfemoral level, and socket designs for the transfemoral level exclude more recently introduced sub-ischial designs. 


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