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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Bilateral transtibial amputation with concomitant thoracolumbar vertebral collapse in a Sichuan earthquake survivor

Caroline Ngar-Chi Wong1*, Joseph Man-Kit Yu2, Sheung-Wai Law3, Herman Mun-Cheung Lau1 and Cavor Kai-Ming Chan3

Author Affiliations

1 Physiotherapy Department, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PR China

2 Prosthetic and Orthotic Department, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PR China

3 Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PR China

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2010, 5:43  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-5-43

Published: 14 July 2010

Abstract

The devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China on 12 May 2008 left thousands of survivors requiring medical care and intensive rehabilitation. In view of this great demand, the Chinese Speaking Orthopaedic Society established the "Stand Tall" project to provide voluntary services to aid amputee victims in achieving total rehabilitation and social integration. This case report highlights the multidisciplinary rehabilitation of a girl who suffered thoracolumbar vertebral collapse and underwent bilateral transtibial amputation. The rehabilitation team was involved in all stages of the care process from the pre-operative phase, through amputation, into prosthetic training, and during her life thereafter. Despite this catastrophic event, early rehabilitation and specially designed bilateral prostheses allowed her a high level of functional ability. The joint efforts of the multidisciplinary team and the advancement of new technology have revolutionized the care process for amputees.