Losing a limb is likened to losing a loved one. The loss impacts the entire person – body and soul – and affects every facet of daily life now and into the future.
The physical and mental healing process requires significant time and care for a patient who has received an amputation and can require an entire team to aid and support you through the whole process.
In this blog, we will look at the following:
- Who makes up a rehabilitation team?
- Arm amputation
- Leg amputation
- Amputation recovery
- Emotional recovery
Who Makes up a Rehabilitation Team?
Your amputation rehabilitation team typically includes:
- Occupational Therapist: Helps you to restore your independence and supports your adaptation to daily life.
- Physical Therapist: Helps you exercise muscles, flexibility, coordination, and the use of your prosthesis.
- Prosthetist/Orthotics Expert: Develops your customized prosthetic device.
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor: Strategizes restoring your health and physical ability post-amputation.
- Rehabilitation Psychologist: Helps you through the emotional process and recovery after experiencing limb loss.
Arm amputations typically result from an occupational or workplace injury. Upper limb amputations can typically occur:
- Below your elbow
- Above your elbow
- At your shoulder
Amputations can involve removing your hand or any of your fingers.
Upper-arm prostheses typically involve artificial fingers, hooks/hands, and wrist and elbow units. Some technologies are controlled by myoelectrical power.
Leg amputations generally occur due to an injury or surgery in treating a disorder (such as atherosclerosis or diabetes).
A leg can be amputated:
- Below the knee
- Above the knee
- At the hip
Lower-limb amputations may involve removing a foot or toes.
Lower-limb prostheses typically involve artificial components such as toes, feet, or knee units. Some technologies are controlled by microprocessors in the knee and foot.
Your post-amputation rehabilitation depends on age, medical history, diet, general health, fitness, lifestyle, which limb was amputated, and which procedure was used.
Younger people may have an easier time physically healing from an amputation procedure, given stronger muscles, tissue, and blood vessels, as opposed to someone that is older with other underlying health conditions.
Recovering from an amputation can be an emotional ride, bringing feelings of sadness, grief, and more, given the significant loss of losing a limb. Working with your rehabilitation psychologist can ease much of the emotional pain that comes with limb loss, and it is essential that you work closely with them for your overall well-being and recovery.
If a prosthetic limb is right for you, your team will help strategize and customize the correct artificial limb technologies appropriate for your lifestyle, occupation, and more. The industry is continuously improving upon these technologies, offering models that work with your nervous system and restore fine motor function.
Age, weight, fitness, and overall health will be important in deciding which prosthetic options work best for your context.
Upper or Lower Limb Prosthesis with Pongratz
We know every part of the amputation process and the journey to recovery can be difficult. But here at Pongratz, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Contact us today, and let us get you the professional help and prosthetic technologies you need for a successful lifelong recovery.