Increased Independence After an Amputation
Amputation is the removal of a limb (arm or leg) by trauma or surgery. People sometimes must have an amputation to control extreme and unrelenting pain or an aggressive disease in the limb, such as a tumor or gangrene.
With access to the latest rehabilitation technology and treatment for people who have had an amputation, our hospital offers the clinical, technical and professional expertise needed to help patients progress toward total independence. Our goal is to give individuals the skills and equipment they need to overcome obstacles and boundaries to return to the most independent life possible.
Rehabilitation for people who have had an amputation focuses on the unique needs of each individual by providing the following program objectives:
- Instruction in skin care
- Healing and reducing swelling in the residual limb in preparation for wearing a prosthesis
- Instruction in walking with a leg prosthesis, or in using an arm or hand prosthesis for daily activities
- Caring for the residual limb
Between 40 and 80 percent of the amputations that occur in the United States each year are preventable. Below are certain risk factors to avoid to prevent amputation.
- Untreated Diabetes
- Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
- Physical Inactivity
- Tobacco Use
Patients who have had an amputation are evaluated by a team of our rehabilitation professionals and individualized treatment plans are created and tailored to their specific needs. Each patient’s treatment plan is designed to accomplish their goals through a sequence of steps.
Amputee rehabilitation goals may include:
- Improving muscle strength
- Learning skin care and prosthesis care
- Preparing the residual limb for wearing a prosthesis
- Learning to move safely through the home and in the community with and without a prosthesis
- Learning to perform daily activities with and without a prosthesis
- Coping and adjusting to new challenges
- Community re-entry and travel
- Return-to-work or school including adaptations and accommodations
People who have experienced an amputation can benefit from the support of others who have had similar experiences.
They can meet with other people who are making the journey back to independence through the following resource:
- Amputee Coalition of America