Throughout the history of the Department of Veterans Affirs, the care that is provided to Veterans with amputations has held a high priority. To many Americans, the Veteran with an amputation epitomizes the swacrifices made on our Nation's behalf.
Amputations constitute a significant disability with medical, physical, social, and psychological ramifications for the Veteran and the Veteran's family. Current figures in 2010 show the number of amputees receiving care within VHA at more than 43,000 with approximately 5,000 amputations being performed each year with VHA
Diabetes and Peripheral Vascular Disease
The vast majority of Veterams with amputations treated within VHA are those resulting from diabetes or peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Amputations caused by diabetes and vascular diseases generally occur in the aging Veteran and are associated with numberous co-morbidities , such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, end-stage renal disease, and arthritis. Veterans with amputations due to trauma including combat-related injuries are predominantly younger in age and tpyically require a longer continuum of care. Although the number of these combat related amputations is relatively small compared to the number of amputations associated with disease, both groups require quality, comprehensive, life-long care.
Continuum of care
Veterans with amputations may have their rehabilitation provided in a variety of environments across the continuum of care, from the time of acute inpatient hospitalization through a spectrum of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation care settings including VA Community Living Centers (CLC) and into the home and community. The provision of rehabilitation services is determined by the Veterans' rehabilitative needs rather than by where the services are delivered, or under what title.