Rehabilitation after amputation

Loss of a limb produces a permanent disability that can impact a patient’s self-image, self-care and movement. Rehabilitation of the patient with an amputation begins after surgery to maximize a person’s functional mobility, minimize a person’s deficits, and enhance quality of life. As the patient’s condition improves, a more extensive rehabilitation program is often started.

The goal of rehabilitation after an amputation is to help the patient return to the highest level of functional independence while improving the overall quality of life—physically, emotionally, and socially.

Amputation rehabilitation programs may include the following:

• Pain management for both post-operative and phantom pain
• Treatments to help improve wound healing and stump care
• Activities to help improve motor skills, restore activities of daily living (ADLs), and help the patient reach maximum independence
• Exercises that promote muscle strength, endurance, and control
• Fitting and use of artificial limbs (prostheses)
• Use of assistive devices
• Vocational counseling
• Adapting the home environment for ease of function, safety, accessibility, and mobility
• Patient and family education