We are here to help our patients throughout their entire rehabilitation process. Our goal is to create a prosthesis that enables our patients to return to the lifestyle they choose. Each patient is different and will have their own set of personal goals. Our practitioners are trained to customize each prosthesis based on the patient’s anatomy and lifestyle goals.
We work closely with the patient’s entire care team. Usually the team includes their physicians, therapists, family members, and caregivers. There will be follow-up appointments made to assure the prosthesis is fitting correctly and the patient is receiving the maximum benefits from the prosthesis. It is very important to keep the appointments and take proper care of the residual limb and the prosthesis.
It is imperative that the patient be seen by a physical therapist soon after surgery. The recovery process begins with a physical therapist teaching the patient basic but very important positions. These positions consist of getting in and out of bed, moving from the bed to a chair and back into the bed. The patient will also learn how to get in and out of a wheelchair, use crutches, and balance while standing. The main focus of the therapist is to empower the patient by focusing on what they can do and help set realistic goals.
The physical therapist and prosthetist will give instructions on how to care for the residual limb. It is important to maximize the range of motion of all joints and to keep compression on the limb to reduce swelling. The physical therapist and prosthetist will also go over desensitizing techniques to help with pain management.
It’s critical to care for and monitor the residual limb throughout the rehabilitation process. Even small scratches or cuts can lead to infection, pain, and cause the healing process to last longer than necessary. The therapist and prosthetist will help teach the patient the proper hygiene techniques needed to take care of the prosthesis and residual limb.
There is also an emotional healing process. It is common for patients to feel depressed and discouraged. Patients should feel free to discuss these feelings with their therapist and prosthetist. It is often helpful to talk to other amputees who have gone through the same experiences. Your therapist and prosthetist will be able to tell you about local amputee support groups.
Photos used with permission of the following companies: Becker Orthopedic • Cascade DAFO, Inc. • Endolite • Orthomerica Products, Inc. • Össur Americas • Ottobock • Spinal Technology, Inc. • SureStep • Touch Bionics, Inc. • Townsend Design
Courtesy of Spinal Technology, Inc. © 2013.
Courtesy of Orthomerica Products, Inc. © 2013.