The Amputee Clinic Roster

Barbara R. Friz


This article is an abstract of a report submitted to the 1969 Annual Meeting of the Committee on Prosthetic-Orthotic Education, Division of Medical Sciences, National Academy of Sciences. A copy of the complete report may be obtained by writing to Mrs. Barbara R. Friz, CPOE, National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20418.

The cooperation of amputee clinic chiefs and representative prosthetists in each state who responded to questionnaires mailed from the office of the Committee on Prosthetic-Orthotic Education has made possible the compilation of an up-to-date roster of 408 amputee clinics in the United States and Canada (Table 1 )

Ninety-two percent of the clinics responding meet at a regularly scheduled time.

The clinic chiefs represent a broad spectrum of medical specialties, the majority (64 percent) being orthopaedic surgeons (Table 2 ). It was somewhat surprising to note that the background of some amputee clinic chiefs included such medical specialties as internal medicine, radiology, and preventive medicine.

Maintenance of an up-to-date amputee clinic roster serves several useful purposes. First, it provides information relative to the number and geographical distribution of the clinics, as shown in Table 3 . New York State lists 36 amputee clinics, the greatest number in any one state. Fifteen of these are located in New York City. The concentration of clinics in the metropolitan areas is typical of many states, and in the more sparsely settled states where there are fewer clinics, this concentration leaves large areas where patients do not have easy access to an amputee clinic. Only one amputee clinic was reported in the states of Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming; none was identified in Alaska.

Secondly, clinic chiefs serve as a potential source of information, and from simple questionnaires containing very few items, considerable data of value can be assembled, as in the case of the present survey. An overview of certain characteristics of amputee clinics is shown in Table 4 , Table 5 , Table 6 , and Table 7 .

Comments related to needs and problems in providing prosthetic services have been submitted by 50 amputee clinic chiefs. These are to be analyzed and considered in the near future.

Finally, more widespread dissemination of prosthetic-orthotic information is made possible through maintenance of the roster. Educational materials distributed to amputee clinic chiefs during the past year include: (1) "Principles of Lower-Extremity Bracing," by J. Perry, et al; (2) "Limb Prosthetics - 1967," by A. B. Wilson, Jr.; (3) Sets of 100 prosthetic slides and captions to clinic chiefs conducting teaching programs; (4) Schedules of university prosthetic-orthotic courses being offered at New York University, University of California at Los Angeles, and Northwestern University; and (5) A copy of the roster of amputee clinics in the individual clinic's state, with the complete roster sent upon request.

Requests received from the clinic chiefs have increased the mailing list for Artificial Limbs by 141, and that for the Inter-Clinic Information Bulletin by 192.

Barbara R. Friz is associated with the Executive Secretary Committee on Prosthetic-Orthotic Education in Washington, D.C.