Here is some important information about post amputation physical therapy.
When is the right time for physical therapy?
Physical therapy can help throughout a patient’s recovery. This includes:
After surgery and before getting a prosthesis to help ensure a patient’s long-term well-being with strengthening and conditioning.
After a patient’s prostheses fitting the physical therapist will help the patient learn to use their new limb with training, exercises, strengthening, and mimicking daily activities they may encounter after physical therapy.
When a patient cannot use prostheses for a while because of health problems, the need for more surgery or a poor fit, physical therapy can help by preparing the patient to use their prostheses again when these problems are resolved.
When people decide not to use prostheses, physical therapy can help maintain and improve a patient’s circulation, skin, strength and endurance. It can also reduce a patient’s risk of getting contractures.
Preventing and Reducing Contractures
Contractures are caused by shortened muscles, tendons or skin that prevents normal movement of tissues and joints. When this happens, people cannot straighten their knees or elbows all the way. One reason for contractures is static positioning, that is, when people do not move their residual limbs enough. At Leader Therapy, our physical therapists will help reduce the risk of contractures by stretching, good positioning, and range-of-motion exercises.
Amputees need good limb motion so that prostheses fit well and work the way they should. Your physical therapist will help by improving your range of motion.