Amputation can be a challenging life experience, especially if surgery is not planned in advance. In addition to the emotional effects of losing a limb, you can also have to deal with an unknown healing process. By understanding the stages of amputation rehabilitation can help you know what to expect so you can prepare accordingly.
What to expect during amputation rehabilitation
Recovery from amputation is very similar to recovery from any other type of surgery, with some unique aspects. Here are the recovery steps:
Prevention of infection: Antibiotics are administered immediately after amputation surgery to prevent infection. The surgical site is cleaned regularly and bandages are changed periodically. Compression dressings are generally used to reduce swelling, increase blood pressure at the site of amputation and help speed up the healing process.
Pain medications are usually given immediately after surgery and reduced as the healing process progresses.
In many cases, many different compensatory adjustments are needed during the healing process because the size and shape of the remaining limb changes over time. The first modification can be a few weeks after surgery. When the swelling recedes and takes the tip more permanently, the artificial socket is adjusted to fit as comfortably as possible.
An important part of rehabilitation by amputation is physical therapy. Some extensions are recommended to promote healthy circulation, and strengthening exercises help facilitate the transition to an artificial limb.
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