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Post Operative Care


You’ve seen the fancy prosthetic limbs on television and the veterans confidently walking with a prosthesis…but you are still left wondering if you’ll be able to walk again. You are not alone! We want to help you return to the life you love, and believe a positive patient outlook is essential to your success. That’s why we believe that knowledge is power. Most patients do not have access to resources, answers to questions or have a chance to meet with an amputee. We want to change that. We’ll equip you with the education and confidence you need to continue moving forward with a renewed hope for the future.


Education


Knowledge is power. No matter what brings you to us, P&O Care serves, educates and provides hope to patients every day. We will provide you with the resources, information and confidence you need to get you back on your feet.


Prosthetic Consultations

A free consultation by a P&O Care prosthetist can be provided before or after an amputation surgery right in the hospital or your doctor’s clinic. This consultation will provide you and your family members answers to questions such as:

  • How long until I am able to walk again?
  • Is it hard to learn to walk with a prosthesis?
  • Does it hurt to wear a prosthetic leg?
  • Will I be able to drive?

Not only will your questions be answered and your fears be eased, but you will also receive a 20-page information booklet and other resources to get you started on the road to recovery. This free booklet will cover:

  • What to expect after surgery
  • Basic rehabilitation timeline
  • Types of prosthetic limbs
  • Life with a prosthesis

Peer Amputee Mentors

Many of our patients decide to become peer amputee mentors to help patients who have experienced similar situations. They’ll tell their story, answer questions, and provide hope and encouragement. P&O Care works to connect patients to peer mentors and helps to arrange an email correspondence, phone call or person-to-person visits, even in the hospital. Peer mentors are not paid by P&O Care and choose to help others out of the kindness of their hearts. Patient privacy is paramount and P&O Care adheres to all HIPAA guidelines.


Prevention


Lower extremity amputations account for more than 60% of amputations in the United States and there are several important components to a successful rehabilitation process, including prevention of falls and joint contractures.

Prevention Of Falls

It is estimated that 6 out of 10 amputees fall following an amputation. Not only is a fall incredibly painful, but the risk of infection is greatly increased and the healing time can be significantly delayed.

Prevention Of Joint Contractures

A knee flexion contracture, common in transtibial amputees, occurs when the knee becomes fixed in a bent (flexed) position cannot be fully straightened out (extended). Similarly, a hip flexion contracture prevents full extension or swinging back of the hip (like you are preparing to kick a soccer ball). It is very difficult to walk with a prosthesis with a flexion contracture.

Both hip and knee flexion contractures can be prevented actively through daily stretching, strengthening and physical therapy. The most common causes of hip and knee flexion contractures are:

  1. Sleeping with knee bent and/or hip flexed.
  2. Lack of exercise or stretching.
  3. Sitting with hip and knee bent for extended periods of time.

P&O Care provides several post-operative strategies for transtibial and transfemoral amputation levels. Typically ordered by your physician or surgeon following surgery, your limb will be protected from falls and prevent flexion contractures. All protectors can be removed easilty to monitor healing progress and can be worn together with a shrinker or compression garment.

Residual Limb Protector

This pre-made, semi-rigid foam device helps to keep knee straight. Large foam pads at the bottom help to pad and protect the bottom of the limb from bumps and falls. The protector is secured with velcro closures above the knee.

Custom Removable Rigid Dressing

This custom fiberglass device is made bedside in the hospital or clinic. A soft padding covers the end of the limb and is then reinforced with fiberglass. The cast is easily removable so the wound can be viewed daily.

Compression Therapy


After any surgical procedure, swelling is expected as part of the healing process. The same is true following an amputation. You may be fit with an ACE wrap in the hospital over your dressing. Your physician will typically order a compression garment or shrinker following the removal of the sutures or staples at a follow up visit several weeks after your surgery. Benefits of compression therapy include:

  • Easy to put on
  • Promotes blood flow
  • Reduces phantom pain

Reducing the swelling in your residual limb is important not only for pain control, but ultimately for the prosthetic fitting. To get the most use out of your first prosthesis, we need to make sure that the residual limb has stabilized in size.  We will measure your residual limb throughout the healing process and monitor your progress. There is no size or measurement to reach, rather the incision must be fully healed and limb should be stable in size for approximately one week before the fitting can begin.

Controlling Pain

Pain after any surgical procedure is normal. Many amputees experience both phantom sensation and phantom pain after an amputation surgery. These are completely normal and patients should not be alarmed if they experience phantom pain. Over time these sensations may decrease and your physician or surgeon may prescribe some medicine to help with phantom sensation and pain, but many patients find that wearing a compression garment or shrinker significantly helps with phantom pain.

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Prosthetic Timeline

Wondering about the fitting process?

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Peer Visitor Program

Need some hope and encouragement? Connect with an amputee peer visitor today.

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