Recovery Process after a Leg Amputation
Most patients stay in the hospital until they become comfortable with essential everyday activities – using the restroom, getting up and out of beds/seats, etc. This can take anywhere from three to seven days and, if necessary, a short stay in a rehabilitation unit.
It is absolutely vital that you take an active role in your own rehabilitation. After an amputation, you must prevent your hips from staying in a bent or flexed position. Avoid the following:
- Do not sit in a chair for long periods of time. You need to frequently change the position of your hips.
- Do not place a pillow under your stomach when lying down.
- Do not place your residual limb on a pillow when lying down, unless told to do so by your physician.
- Do not place a pillow under your knees or hips. Do not place a pillow between your thighs.
- Do not place your residual limb over the side of a bed.
After the initial surgery recovery, it is critical to begin the process of adjusting to your limb. For the initial two weeks, stick to massage and wound/incision care. Isometric activities utilizing the muscles above the amputation are also okay.
After the sutures are removed, the wound healed, and your physician gives you the clear to perform more extensive exercises, range of motion for the amputated limb can start. Gradually introduce exercises targeting all your muscle groups. When you flex and extend, do it slowly and carefully, without any weights or pressure.
After around four to six weeks, towel pulls and scale activities (not more than 10-15 pounds) can start, in addition to the range of motion, isometrics, and massage.
After six weeks, you can commence advanced physical therapy.
As for medication, your physician can prescribe you drugs that will help you manage post-operative pain. However, keep in mind that the drugs are there to help you function, not get rid of the pain completely. The length and span of surgical pain differs for every person and can take weeks or months to resolve. Be careful not to develop a physical addiction, especially if you have some form of chronic pain and take the drug regularly. You should bring up any and all of your concerns and questions with your physician.
If you or someone you love has sustained an amputation injury in an accident caused by another party, please don’t hesitate to contact Wilshire Law Firm for immediate assistance. Our experienced California amputation lawyers can help you gain access to the best medical care available as well as get you compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about what our firm can do for you in a FREE consultation, call us today at (800) 522-7274.