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Amputee Rehabilitation

St. John's Rehab offers individually customized inpatient and outpatient programs for adults with limb amputations resulting from diabetes, vascular injuries and disease, trauma, work related injuries and oncological reconstruction.

Referrals & Admissions

Inpatient Referral Forms

Inpatient Admission Criteria

  • Medically stable with no significant fluctuations in medical status within 72 hours.
  • Motivated to participate in rehab, has active rehab goals, and is able to participate in two sessions of active rehab therapy five to seven days a week.
  • Able to sit unsupported for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Patient's cognitive abilities and state of mental health support participation in active rehab.

Special needs accommodated (on a case-by-case basis) include the following:

  • IV therapy (PICC and portacath only)
  • Intermittent oxygen therapy/home oxygen
  • Tracheotomy (must by corked)
  • Intermittent tube feeds (PEG tube only)
  • Ostomy

Outpatient Referral Forms

Download our Outpatient Referral Form on our referral information page.

Please include all relevant medical/therapy reports with your application

Outpatient Admission Criteria

  • Has active rehab goals and is able to participate and tolerate increasing amount of rehab therapy.
  • Has adequate cognitive communication abilities for rehab.
  • Has a reliable means of transportation.

Amputee rehab programProgram Details

The program provides comprehensive assessment, treatment and education including topics such as diabetes management, lifestyle adaptation and health promotion. Other program components include complete wheelchair and assistive device consultations and specialized prosthetic assessment and training with standard and myoelectric prostheses.

The inpatient and outpatient amputee rehabilitation teams represent a full range of rehabilitation professionals and medical specialists who work with patients and their families to ensure a smooth transition to outpatient care and the community. Patients can also access fee-for-service care such as massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and chiropody services to complement their rehabilitation.

Prior to discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, the team, patient and family may plan a weekend home visit to identify any concerns or questions. Patients may also be referred to our outpatient rehabilitation program and benefit from a seamless continuum of rehabilitation provided by a team of professionals that deliver high quality care in a team-based, patient-focused environment.

Program backgrounder

St. John's Rehab at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is dedicated to specialized rehabilitation. Our amputee rehabilitation program offers care for patients recovering from upper and lower extremity amputations resulting from disease, trauma, work-related injuries, diabetes and cancer-related surgery.

  • Our team of rehabilitation professionals develops realistic goals and timelines with each patient and keeps in close contact with the patient and his or her family. This helps achieve maximum recovery, independence and quality of life.
  • Our highly skilled and committed multidisciplinary rehab team includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, pharmacists, physicians, dietitians, social workers, psychologists and spiritual care.
  • The individually customized program consists of assessment, treatment and support focused on the whole person - body, mind and spirit.
  • Extensive medication, nutrition and diabetes education to promote optimal health, including services and specialized foot care are available to address the diverse needs of adults of all ages.
  • Full assessments provided to determine patient's suitability for a prosthetic device. Patients also receive training with wheelchairs, assistive devices and prostheses.
  • Before people are discharged from inpatient care, they often return home for a few weekends to safely practice their new skills.
  • Once discharged, patients can benefit from a seamless continuum of care by being referred to our outpatient rehabilitation program.
  • The specialized Back on Track Program provides rehab care to clients who sustain amputations as a result of injuries in motor vehicle and work-related accidents.
  • Patients are referred to St. John's Rehab's inpatient and outpatient programs by family physicians, specialists and hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Patients can enjoy the hospital's 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and pathways - a key element in their spiritual and emotional recovery.

Our amputee program patients

April 2014 - March 2015

  • Inpatients admitted: 115
  • Outpatient visits: 4,472
  • Average active rehab length of stay: 34 days
  • Average age of patients: 64 years old
  • Patients aged 55 or older: 75 per cent
  • Gender of patients: 70 per cent male, 30 per cent female

Ontario amputation facts

There are three main reasons for amputations:

  • Diseases such as diabetes, vascular diseases, Raynaud's disease, Beugers disease and cancer.
  • Surgeries to remove a tumor, to deal with gangrene, to remove severe frost bite or other reasons.
  • Traumatic injury resulting from a motor vehicle collision, severe burn, household accident or workplace accident.

According to Canadian Association of Wound Care:

  • Diabetes foot ulcers are the leading cause of amputations. Canadians with diabetes are 23 times more likely to be hospitalized for a limb amputation than someone without diabetes.
  • 85% of all amputations are the result of a non-healing foot ulcer.
  • More than 4,000 Canadians with diabetes had a limb amputated in 2006; an estimated 1,500 Ontarians with diabetes had a limb amputated in 2008. 51% of those with a first amputation in 2006 may have a second limb amputated by 2011.
  • 30% of Canadians with diabetes will die within one year of amputation. 69% will not survive past five years.
  • More than half of amputations may have been prevented by appropriate footwear and more effective nail and foot care.
  • Canadians with diabetes who see their family doctor or health team at least 3 times a year are 33% less likely to have a limb amputation.
  • Diabetes foot ulcers cost our health care system more than $150 million annually.

Location and contact

Amputee Rehabilition Program

St. John's Rehab
285 Cummer Avenue,
Toronto, ON M2M 2G1

Phone: 416-226-6780
Fax: 416-226-5406

Email us

Program Brochure

Amputee Rehabilitation program brochure

PDF Download Download our Amputee Rehabilition program brochure (PDF, 1.3 MB)

For referring organizations:
If you would like copies of our brochures for you and your patients, please fill out our Printed Material Request Form.