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Rehabilitation & Engineering Center for Optimizing Veteran Engagement & Reintegration (RECOVER)

The mission of RECOVER is to help Veterans maximize their participation in important roles and activities throughout their life, and to adapt to life changes, through development, evaluation and clinical translation of practical rehabilitation interventions and technologies.

Focus areas

RECOVER’s primary populations of interest include:

  • Veterans with lower-limb amputations
  • Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCID)

Amputation and SCID require significant rehabilitation care for Veterans after injury and throughout their life transitions. Costs to care for these Veterans are high, and we seek to maximize their recovery in practical ways and work toward their optimal engagement, reintegration, and lifelong participation in important life roles and activities.

RECOVER’s primary research and development areas include:

  • Expanding understanding of participation barriers and facilitators
  • Improving participation through management of pain, discomfort and secondary complications
  • Maintaining participation of Veterans as they age and promoting aging-in-place

Meet our RECOVER team

RECOVER success stories

Note: the following success stories are intended to provide factual information regarding successful development and translation of products from RECOVER and should not be seen as an endorsement of licensed and commercialized products. All license agreements were negotiated by VA’s Technology Transfer Program.

Multi-Purpose Arm Cycle Ergometer (M-PACE)

RECOVER developed the M-PACE to help address deconditioning in Veterans with SCI recovering after a flap surgery. The system was designed to provide access to exercise in a fully supine position, as well as seated, reclined, and standing postures. This system has been licensed to Action Manufacturing and is now commercially available -

MVAHCS MADE Multi-Purpose Arm Cycle Ergometer

Skin screening camera system

RECOVER developed a skin screening camera system to help Veterans monitor and detect skin problems before they become late stage pressure injuries. This device may be useful for Veterans with SCI and Veterans with diabetes to help monitor their skin in hard to see areas that are at high risk for developing pressure injuries. This system has been licensed and is being commercialized as the Habit Camera -

MVAHCS MADE Skin screening camera system

Prosthesis for improved footwear options

RECOVER is working to develop and commercialize a modular prosthetic ankle system that quickly connects to a variety of 3D printed prosthetic feet. This approach should allow Veterans with amputations to use a much wider variety of footwear because the 3D printed feet can be customized to each pair of shoes (e.g., shoe length and width, heel height).

MVAHCS MADE Prosthesis improved footwear options

Mobile manual standing wheelchair

RECOVER is working collaboratively with LEVO to develop and commercialize a manual standing wheelchair that allows mobility in standing. The ability to be mobile in both sitting and standing postures may improve the utility of standing wheelchairs and improve participation and quality of life in Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders. LEVO has licensed the intellectual property developed by RECOVER for this product.

Mobile manual standing wheelchair

Prosthetic sock management tool

RECOVER developed a prosthetic sock management tool help Veterans manage how they use their prosthetic socks with their prosthesis.

How to use you prosthetic socks

If you put on your prosthesis and your limb twists, shifts, or bottoms out or if your socket feels too loose and your limb hurts, you may want to don (or put on) some more thickness of prosthetic socks. Start by adding a thinner sock, like a 1 or 3 ply and if that isn’t enough, you can try adding more socks. Adjust the thickness of socks you are wearing until the fit is comfortable.

On the other hand, if you put on your prosthesis and the socket doesn't feel secure, you feel like you are “riding high”, or the socket feels too tight/squeezing, you may want to doff (or take off) some thickness of prosthetic socks. Adjust the thickness of socks you are wearing until the fit is comfortable.

Prosthetic sock tips

  • Remember to take extra socks with you when you leave home, just in case you need to make these adjustments when you are away from home.
  • Check your socket for fit and comfort throughout the day.
  • Wash your prosthetic socks daily to keep them fresh and clean.
How to use your prosthetic socks
Prosthetic sock management system


Contact and location

RECOVER – Rehabilitation & Engineering Center for
Optimizing Veteran Engagement & Reintegration
Minneapolis VA Health Care System
One Veterans Drive (Research – 151)
Minneapolis, MN 55417