4 Pre and Post Surgical Tips for Prosthetic Limb
According to the Amputee Coalition, more than 185,000 amputation surgeries are performed in the US each year. It’s a tough surgery to recover from and the road leading to life with a prosthetic limb is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. Having a supportive prosthetic clinic near you will make all the difference and remembering just a few tips will make the process that much easier.
1. Always head your doctor’s orders
Healing from and amputation surgery is a lengthy process and setting your expectations for recovery is a wise thing to do. Your doctor will probably offer plenty of advice and direction on taking care of your residual limb after your discharge from the hospital, which could be as much as two weeks after your operation. Your wound will still take a couple of more months to heal completely and during this time you’ll probably identify a prosthetic clinic near you to support your healing process and get you on the path to living with a prosthesis.
2. Create goals and stick to them
Your surgeon and your prosthetist will likely set goals for your recovery which might include specifics on wound healing, controlling swelling and managing pain, rehabilitation exercises when you’re ready, and starting the prosthetic process as soon as you can. These goals will be important for your recovery physically and emotionally, and it’s important that you do everything you can to stick to them.
3. Work with your prosthetic every day
Once your wound has healed enough for your first official appointment for measurements with your prosthetist, the process will move along quickly. A skilled lab will create a mold from which the prosthetic will be created, and you will have several more fittings before the medical device is finished. Once it’s final, you will have rehabilitation and occupational therapy while wearing it, and it’s important to continue working with the device every day.
4. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
One of the most important things in healing from an amputation surgery and learning to live with a prosthetic is to maintain a healthy weight so that you’re not carrying around more weight than your natural body frame, and prosthetic limbs can handle. Keeping in shape requires exercise, and there are plenty of options that can keep you active. Talk to your physical therapist for more ideas of suitable exercise regimens for amputees.