Universidad del Valle de México Physiotherapy Clinic Improves Lives

In May 2013, Albino Miranda Jiménez suffered the amputation of his right leg due to a poorly treated foot wound. The life of Miranda, who used to walk for pleasure and to get to work, changed dramatically.

Miranda never gave up, but kept moving forward and one day went to the physiotherapy clinic at the Chapultepec campus of Universidad del Valle de Mexico. Hilda Patricia Velázquez, coordinator of clinical rotations, began to help him with his rehabilitation.

The Chapultepec campus professor mentioned that many patients come to the clinic after an amputation, so the rehabilitation protocol of the physiotherapy clinic is divided into two parts: the pre-prosthetic and prosthetic phase. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists teach those that undergo an amputation how to adapt to their social and working life with a prosthesis. With the technology available today, people can rehabilitate to the extent that they can participate in high performance sports.

Amputation of limbs can be caused by vascular disease, trauma, infection, tumors, nerve injuries, congenital deformation (birth) and diabetes. Professor Velázquez noted that 85 percent of amputations are due to peripheral vascular disease with or without diabetes, 10-12 percent from trauma, and 3-5 percent for other reasons. “There are approximately 75,000 amputations per year in Mexico and 70 percent of these are due to complications from diabetes. If awareness of the long term impact of this disease was better understood, it could significantly lower the costs for health care,” she said.

Miranda is already in rehabilitation therapy to get fitted for a prosthetic device. “The students and physiotherapists are helping to create the fittings and are teaching me to walk, to keep my balance, and to support myself with the prosthesis on and without crutches. I’m going to be able to walk out of UVM’s clinic, not running, yet, but I will be able to drive a car again. My life is getting back to normal. It’s hard to adapt, but anything is possible,” says Miranda.