If you have suffered from an amputation, it is important for you to begin physical therapy and rehabilitation as soon as possible to restore normal mobility and function and especially to learn how to properly adjust to and use orthosis and prosthesis.
Here are some processes and treatments your physical therapist will provide during rehabilitation:
- Proper Care for Your Residual Limb. Learn to recognize signs indicating the incision from surgery is healing correctly or incorrectly.
- Shaping of Your Residual Limb. Your physical therapist will teach you how to wrap your limb in such a way to maintain the proper shape so you can fit prostheses more easily.
- Desensitization Techniques. Another concern after amputation is phantom limb pain, caused by your altered nerve signals from your residual limb. Your physical therapist can teach you desensitization techniques to help with the sensitivity and phantom pain, helping you be more comfortable before using prosthesis.
- Use of Orthotics with Prosthesis. An Orthosis is an external appliance that is placed on the body to restrict or assist motion. Because an amputee is at risk for additional problems—back, knee, or hip pain, muscle weakness, reduced sensation, and overuse of the remaining whole limb—the use of orthosis is extremely important in preventing these secondary conditions with prosthetic use. Your physical therapist can teach you how to use orthotics to avoid and deal with these issues.
- Proper Fit and Alignment of Prosthesis. Your physical therapists will assist you with this so that your prosthetic can function safely and help you function as normally as possible to avoid over-use or dependence of the remaining whole limb.