Military lower extremity amputee rehabilitation.

The role of the military has changed over the past eight decades. Although the threat of global warfare still exists, the military of today faces new challenges as a peacekeeper in countries under turmoil. Despite these changes, the fear of bodily injury, such as limb loss and even the possibility of death, are real concerns for our active duty personnel. The military physician must be aware of the appropriate surgical, rehabilitative, and psychosocial needs of the lower extremity traumatic amputee. The physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist is a physician particularly suited to provide direction for and to oversee the overall care of the amputee’s condition. An amputee center providing a multidisciplinary team approach has worked well for the military during war and peacetimes. The physical medicine and rehabilitation inpatient service at WRAMC continues the tradition and philosophy of the military amputee centers dating back to WWI. By growing with the fast-paced technologic advances in prosthetic devices, yet keeping true to the fundamentals of prosthetic prescription and design, physical medicine and rehabilitation in the military has remained at the forefront of amputee rehabilitation. Patient satisfaction with the rehabilitation process and his or her new artificial limb remain priorities whether the goal is to return to active duty or to resume an active lifestyle in the civilian world.