PCOM Georgia Physical Therapy Dept. Supports Individuals with Limb LossSeptember 9, 2022
Recently, the Department of Physical Therapy, under the leadership of Professor Carol A. Miller, PT, PhD, hosted a free limb loss community event entitled "Beyond Amputation: Living Well
& Enjoying Life!"
The event attracted close to 100 individuals including individuals with limb loss
and their supporters, speakers from a wide variety of health professions, and exhibitors
who shared information with the attendees and provided funding for lunch and future
events. Dr. Miller called the event “a major success” and thanked the many volunteers
who made it possible, including students.
Student Jacob Kostelec (DPT ’23) described the experience. “Being able to integrate
the hands-on skills we have learned under Dr. Miller's instruction with individuals
in the limb loss community was an invaluable learning experience that I will cherish
and reflect on well into my future clinical experiences. I hope to see future students of physical therapy receive a similar opportunity, as it bridges the gap between classroom didactics
and real-world practice for patients with limb loss.”
Miller noted that the day was designed to empower individuals living with limb loss
and their families to move beyond amputation and learn how to return to living their
highest level of ability and quality of life. She said that the primary goal of the
sessions was to provide an open and supportive environment where individuals could
learn, build confidence with physical activity and movement, share experiences, ask
questions, and become actively engaged with others in the limb loss community.
Dr. Miller said, “Providing events such as these truly supports the mission of PCOM and the Doctor of Physical Therapy program by engaging in service that contributes
to the well-being of those in need in our communities.”
Cameron Ragland (DPT ’23), said, “As a DPT student, this event allowed us the opportunity
to go beyond what we have studied in the curriculum and truly engage with those within
the limb loss community. Learning their stories, delving deeper into real life experiences,
and getting hands-on practice with various techniques and exercises was invaluable
and provided us with resources we can take with us when we're practicing therapists.”
The event was timely. Dr. Miller explained, “Even with telehealth options, the pandemic
made it more difficult for people with limb loss to access the care and resources
they need to help promote the highest quality of life.”
Sessions included exercise mobility clinics, in which third year doctor of physical
therapy students assisted, adaptive sports including hiking, cycling and golf, managing
phantom limb pain and neuropathy, and care for the caregivers.
Presenters for the various sessions included physical therapists, prosthetists, physicians,
nurses and individuals who serve as peer visitors.
Rex Burruss, an Amputee Coalition support group leader, presented at the Saturday
He said, “I am beyond thankful for the ongoing commitment that PCOM Georgia makes to helping to educate and enable Atlanta’s amputee community.”
On Friday, before the Saturday event, a continuing education course entitled “Are
you Afraid of the Prosthesis? Current Prosthetic Design and PT Management for Adults
with Lower Limb Loss,” was held.
According to Miller, the eight-hour course was designed to enhance knowledge of prosthetic
design and to discover a broad scope of exercises to promote optimal gait function
for adults living with lower limb amputation. The speakers presented current and clinically
useful approaches to rehabilitation management using a holistic philosophy for optimizing
health and wellness.
During the session, specific intervention strategies that focused on reducing fall
risk, improving balance and prosthetic gait were taught using patient models and through
Twenty-five physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from PCOM Georgia’s
partner clinical, hospital and practice centers attended the program. Additionally,
14 Doctor of Physical Therapy students, members of the PCOM Georgia class of 2023,
attended the course.
Burrus added, “With events like this, your institution helps connect individuals—while
connecting them with products, services, and healthcare professionals. Facilitating
ties within the limb loss/limb difference community gives many resources they might
otherwise never acquire while empowering them to make informed decisions about their
wellness and improve their mobility.”
Victoria A. Troncoso, DO - Women in Medicine MonthGarden Cultivates Opportunity to Unwind and Give BackPA and PT Students Receive Symbolic White Coats
About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
For more information, contact:
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell:
Connect with PCOM Georgia