Amputation surgery can be an overwhelming experience. The time you spend recovering in the hospital can seem like a blur in your memory as you work to process all of the information and cope with your new life. Understandably so, it can be easy to forget the post-op self-care tips you received at discharge.
At BioTech we understand the importance of proper self-care while healing from your amputation surgery. A proper healing process is key to the effective use of a future prosthesis.
Below are some ways to make sure your healing process goes as smoothly as possible after your amputation surgery.
#1: Follow Doctor’s Orders
Your doctor knows exactly what you need to do for the best outcome of your surgery. Don’t ignore his or her instructions. If you have a question about anything the doctor has told you to do, make sure you express your concerns and get their advice. Never stop any of your treatment without consulting with your doctor first.
Make sure you are positioning your body based on your doctor’s instructions. Laying on your stomach for 20 minutes, three to four times each day, will help to stretch out your hip muscle. Always sit with your stump straight and level and avoid turning it in or out from your body. If you will be lying down for a long period of time, keep your stump elevated to avoid swelling.
If you doctor prescribes you medicine, take it for as long as prescribed. If your doctor orders physical therapy, keep going until your doctor tells you it’s time to stop. If you physician tells you to keep your stump wrapped, wrap it daily and tighten it when it gets loose. Only take it off to shower.
Realizing that your doctor knows best will go a long way towards your healing; therefore, make sure you follow his or her instructions directly for best results now and in the future.
#2: Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
Some of the things that will greatly benefit your healing are the same things that keep anyone healthy. Proper nutrition and exercise will expedite your healing process and keep you in better shape.
Start by switching to a high protein diet. Aim for a protein intake of 1.5-2 grams per kilogram of body weight daily. Limit your sugar as well for the best results. Diabetic amputees should especially control their glucose levels for proper healing.
Another great way to help with healing while improving your overall health is to stop smoking. Ideally, smoking should have ceased four to eight weeks before surgery, but it’s never too late to quit if you did not kick the habit before your operation. Ceasing smoking immediately can greatly reduce post-op complications!
#3: Strengthen Your Body
The stronger your body, the quicker you will recover and the greater likelihood you will be able to successfully adapt to a new prosthesis. You need to build your strength and your endurance.
Doing a good cardio workout, such as swimming, will build up your endurance and improve your general health. Also, because you will have a new center of gravity, balance exercises will be of great benefit. Before engaging in any exercise, consult with your physician first to make sure you are ready.
If you have a lower limb amputation, use weights or resistance bands to work your upper body. Using a walker or wheelchair will require more use of your arms than you are probably used to; therefore, strengthening your arms goes a long way at helping you adapt to your post-op lifestyle.
Working your core helps support your whole body. You can work your core while seated or even in bed. Your physical therapist can give you the best exercises for strengthening your core during your healing process.
Also remember that your unaffected limb will likely be carrying more of the workload now; therefore, be sure to condition it properly. At the same time, you don’t want to ignore the stump. A strong stump is the foundation of proper prosthesis use! Even when it’s hard and even when you would rather do anything but exercise, follow the instructions given to you by your physical therapist. Later, you will be glad that you took their advice.
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BioTech offers custom prosthetics that will help give you amazing function, helping you to recognize your possibilities!
Our goal is to create a limb that fits you perfectly with the utmost level of comfort and convenience. Contact BioTech today to learn more about how we can help.