The loss of an arm or leg due to an accident, circulatory disorder, diabetes mellitus, chronic inflammation or tumor represents a drastic situation for everyone. For the best possible care with an arm or leg prosthesis as well as the psychological and physical strengthening of the affected person, a rehabilitation after an amputation in a specialized clinic is necessary and helpful. This is also required by the current guideline for rehabilitation after major amputation.
Rehabilitation is always a team effort – especially after an amputation. This is particularly evident in special care, z.B. after the amputation of an arm or leg. In our MEDIAN rehabilitation clinics, we have appropriately trained nurses and caregivers who are well versed in wound management, even of larger wounds. After amputation in the area of the lower leg or at the level of the knee (knee disarticulation), walking training can be started directly within the scope of rehab with a reusable pneumatic exercise prosthesis be started. In the case of amputations in the area of the thigh, the residual limb is first prepared (residual limb conditioning) and then the first individual prosthesis is made very quickly Interim prosthesis is made.
A specially trained team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses and caregivers, as well as psychologists and sports scientists, ensure in usner MEDIAN rehabilitation clinics a Optimal mobilization of the patient.
Procedure of rehabilitation after amputation
After fabrication of the first individual prosthesis as an interim prosthesis, gait training and extensive prosthesis use training, i.e. learning how to use the prosthesis, take place during rehabilitation after an amputation.
In the further course, the residual limb circumferences change significantly (the residual limb becomes slimmer), so that close-meshed readjustments of the prosthesis are made by the respective orthopedic technician.
Technical orthopaedics has seen significant progress in recent years with the advent of electronic control systems. Especially the use of Electronically controlled knee joint systems (z.B. C-Leg) represents a significant improvement in gait and stance stability for patients who have had an above-the-knee amputation.
During the inpatient stay in one of the MEDIAN rehabilitation clinics, suitable patients can undergo a trial of these electronic joint systems.
Therapy of phantom pain in the context of rehabilitation after an amputation
After the amputation of an arm or leg, phantom pain can occur, d.h. the no longer existing hand or the lost foot is perceived as painful. In addition to appropriately suitable medication (z.B. Lyrica® Pregabalin), mirror therapy, trigger point therapy and contralateral TENS therapy in particular are used in rehabilitation after an amputation, which are practiced with the patient from the beginning of the inpatient stay.
Psychological and socio-medical care after an amputation in the MEDIAN clinics
Since the loss of an arm or leg represents a drastic intervention in the integrity of the person, the patients are accompanied by experienced psychologists during the entire inpatient stay in one of our MEDIAN rehabilitation clinics. In addition, extensive socio-medical advice is given with regard to the workplace and the home environment.
Aim of rehabilitation after arm and leg amputation
The goal after an amputation is therefore holistic rehabilitation. The person concerned should not only be fitted with a prosthesis that is suitable for him or her according to the latest technology and his or her degree of mobility, but should also be able to use it safely. The regaining of independent locomotion (with and without forearm crutches; depending on the severity of the disease) is the focus of rehabilitation at MEDIAN. In addition, the goal of rehabilitation after an amputation is to be as free of symptoms as possible and to return to a prepared home and work environment.
What happens during an amputation?
In the case of an amputation, a part of the body must be surgically removed because the tissue has died or is also affected by cancer cells. The surgeon always tries to preserve as much tissue as possible. However, dead tissue must be removed because otherwise there is a high risk of infection.
What are reasons for amputation?
Circulatory problems often lead to a lack of supply in the tissue, which subsequently dies off. For example, peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAVD) causes calcification in the arteries of the legs, which can lead to an amputation in the course of time.
Amputations can also be caused by malignant cancer cells, as the spread to other parts of the body is to be avoided.
Last but not least, accidents in traffic or with working machines often lead to injuries that affect the extremities to such an extent that an amputation becomes necessary.
What happens in rehab after amputations?
In rehab, you often receive a prosthesis as a replacement for the amputated body part and learn how to use it. The prosthesis is adjusted more and more as rehab progresses. In addition, the loss of the body part is worked through therapeutically in rehab and acceptance of the prosthesis is learned in order to arrive at the new everyday life.
What to do against phantom limb pain?
After the amputation of a body part, phantom pain can occur, d.h. the hand or foot that is no longer there is perceived as painful. On the one hand, this pain can be treated with medication. In rehab, special therapies such as mirror therapy, trigger point therapy and contralateral TENS therapy are also used.
How long does rehab take after an amputation??
The duration of a follow-up treatment (AHB) or a Berufsgenossenschaftlichen stationary further treatment (BGSW) is approx. 3 weeks. After that, further care is provided by the general practitioner or specialist.