Premier Prosthetic865-474-7096

Care After Amputation Surgery

Like any surgical procedure, an amputation is traumatic for your limb and therefore requires dedicated care by you in order to heal properly and as quickly as possible. Additionally, you will need to prepare your limb for the greatest chance to not only receive a prosthesis but succeed in using one for your daily activities.

1. Caring for Your Surgical Wound
The cause(s) for your amputation affect the expected healing rate for your residual limb. However, by doing your best to ensure the surgical wound area is always clean, covered, and dry, you can help encourage healing.

● DO change your dressing as instructed
● DO wash your residual limb with mild soap and water after the incision is fully healed and all staples/ stitches have been removed
● DO use a soft towel to pat your residual limb dry after bathing
● DO examine the skin on BOTH of your limbs every day using good lighting and a mirror to see the back and sides
● DON’T remove scabs
● DON’T soak your residual limb in water for long periods of time (e.g. DON’T take a bath)
● DON’T apply any cream or lotion to your limb unless ordered by your care team

2. Reducing Swelling & Shaping Your Limb
Part of the preparation to receive a prosthesis includes reducing the swelling in your residual limb and creating a more smooth, uniform shape. The amount of swelling is influenced by multiple factors including medication, diet, and health conditions.  However, in following your prescribed compression protocol, you can help reduce much of the swelling and shape the limb in the process.

● DO elevate your limb
● DO apply elastic compression wrap (e.g. ACE bandage) or  wear a “shrinker” (special compression stocking for residual limbs)
● DO wear a postoperative sock

3. Preventing Muscle Contractures
Muscle contracture occurs when a muscle around a joint becomes very tight and does not allow the residual limb to move freely. With lower leg amputations, muscle contractures can occur at the hip and/or knee if the proper prevention measures are not taken. Contractures are difficult and painful to correct and can limit your ability to perform your daily activities or wear a prosthesis.

● DO frequently change the position of your hip
● When seated or lying down, DO keep your knee straight as possible (prop up if needed)
● DO lay flat on your stomach (no pillow under you) for approximately 20 minutes 2-3 times per day
● DON’T sit in a chair/stay in one position for long periods
● DON’T hang your residual limb (amputated limb) over the  side of the bed
● When seated or lying down, DON’T place a pillow under your thigh, between your thighs

The Premier Surgical Prosthetic Center in Knoxville is dedicated to restoring mobility to amputees. Request a free consultation at (865) 474-7096 or visit https://www.premierprosthetic.com/schedule-free-consultation/

 

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