Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 2, 2013
   Pages 161 — 172

Abstract — Effect of traumatic brain injury among U.S. servicemembers with amputation

Mitchell J. Rauh, PhD, PT, MPH;1–3* Hilary J. Aralis, MS;1 Ted Melcer, PhD;3 Caroline A. Macera, PhD;1,4 Pinata Sessoms, PhD;1 Jamie Bartlett, PhD;1 Michael R. Galarneau, MS3

1Warfighter Performance Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA; 2Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA; 3Medical Modeling, Simulation and Mission Support Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA; 4Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Abstract — Servicemembers with combat-related limb loss often require substantial rehabilitative care. The prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which may impair cognitive and functional abilities, among servicemembers has increased. The primary objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of TBI among servicemembers with traumatic amputation and examine whether TBI status was associated with discharge to civilian status and medical and rehabilitative service use postamputation. U.S. servicemembers who had a combat-related amputation while deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan between 2001 and 2006 were followed for 2 yr postamputation. Data collected includes injury mechanism; postinjury complications; Injury Severity Score (ISS); and follow-up data, including military service discharge status and number of medical, physical, occupational therapy, and prosthetic-related visits. Of the 546 servicemembers with combat-related amputations, 127 (23.3%) had a TBI diagnosis. After adjusting for ISS and amputation location, those with TBI had a significantly greater mean number of medical and rehabilitative outpatient and inpatient visits combined (p < 0.01). Those with TBI were also at greater odds of developing certain postinjury complications. We recommend that providers treating servicemembers with limb loss should assess for TBI because those who sustained TBI required increased medical and rehabilitative care.

Key words: amputation, blasts, combat-related, military, occupational therapy, odds ratio, physical therapy, postinjury complications, prosthetic use, rehabilitative use, service discharge, traumatic brain injury.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 2
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Rauh MJ, Aralis HJ, Melcer T, Macera CA, Sessoms P, Bartlett J, Galarneau MR. Effect of traumatic brain injury among U.S. servicemembers with amputation. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(2):161–72.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2011.11.0212
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