The loss of a limb or limbs has severe implications for a person’s ability to move and perform daily tasks. With these restrictions, it is almost impossible for him to function and participate in community activities. Since functional dependence is one of the main concerns of an amputee, having a normal life seems to be difficult for someone who loses parts of his body. However, with the existence of amputee rehabilitation, most of the problems related to ability and self-confidence of the patients can be patched up with a treatment program. The program aims to support and encourage amputees to have the chance to regain a productive and rewarding experience.
The amputee rehabilitation process is composed of different phases that can drastically increase the mobility and confidence of the patient. Let’s try to understand the importance of these phases.
Pre-operative – In this phase, physicians assess the body condition of the patient and provide educational and possible surgical discussions to open up some options. The focus of this stage is the objective assessment of the muscle power. The medical team offers postoperative prosthetic plans to the patient and understands his range of movement or ROM. The attending physician thoroughly checks the medical history of the patient during this stage that includes his drug and social history. Using all the findings taken from this test, the physician, patient, and his family will decide on the most appropriate solution to the problem.
Amputation Surgery or Reconstruction – This stage is in the full responsibility of the surgeon. The length, soft tissue coverage, rigid dressing and more are all decided on this stage. It is where the amputee undergoes a process that removes part or parts of his body.
Acute-Post Surgical – During this phase, the wound healing takes place. Pain controlling medications are provided with proximal body motion. Post-operative chest physiotherapy is integrated into the patient’s body which is incorporated with specific exercises to improve strength. Tons of emotional support from the patient’s family is required.
Pre-Prosthetic Rehabilitation – Counseling takes place during this stage. The patient’s overall goal is discussed and handed out by the attending doctor. These information aims to make the patient understand the possible pros and cons of the procedure. Deciding for the prosthetic prescription also takes place in this stage. Early walking aids (EWA) are used for the diagnosis to settle for the patient’s suitability for a prosthetic limb. Exercise therapy is also integrated to prepare the patient for the next stage.
Prosthetic Prescription – The measuring and casting of the patient’s prosthetic are conducted during this phase. The Prosthetist fits the primary prosthesis to the patient’s limb. During this stage, the help of a Physiotherapist is needed to ensure that the neutral alignment of the pelvis is obtained accurately. The physiotherapy gives the patients intervention on mobility guidance, proper weight bearing, and static balance.
Prosthetic Training – During this process, the Prosthetist will help solve and adjust prosthesis for the patient’s comfortability. The physiotherapist takes the lead role on this stage where he starts with educating the patient about his prosthesis and skin integrity.
Discharge Management – During this stage, the occupational therapist takes the lead role. His job includes aiding the resumption of roles in the family and helping them find suitable recreational and community involvement activities. It is more like the transition program for the patient to re-enter society with more mobility freedom than before the rehab program.
Follow Up – The patient gets monitored closely by the facility to see whether he adequately integrated back to his normal life. The physiotherapist and the prosthetic team will review the patient’s condition and advice a further checkups from time to time.
People who undergo amputation face a challenging period of overall recovery. But with the help of amputation rehabilitation, the process is shortened. The proper care is provided to the patient in full guarantee.