Amputees Support Group

Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma or surgery. Many have undergone amputation or have been living with a missing limb since birth. In either case, life as an amputee can be challenging. This is the place to find others going through the same experiences as an amputee. Share your thoughts, troubles, and solutions with the community.

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Below knee amputation

My surgery is set for Oct 21st. below knee amputation, can any one give me advice for when i get home, such as do's & don'ts? Thank you :)

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

Do have a shower bench, do have plastic bags and a towel to put over you limb so you can have a shower. Make sure you have a walker, wheelchair and or crutches as you will need them to get yourself around.

Remember when you get up in the middle of the night to use the washroom you will need something to assist you.

Do be patient with yourself, let you limb heal, try not to get discouraged.

Try not to stress about things you cannot change, we are all here for you!!

.
LeftBKMarch2007
LeftBKMarch2007

Also put up hand rails in the shower they help. Take it easy the first few days. Ask your doctor about a Physical Therapist they will help you to build muscle or keep your leg strong for when you get your new leg you will be able to walk agian. Find a good Prosthetics place near you you can ask your doctor if they know of any, then make an appointment to see them before your surgery they can help you with any ideals on what you may need.

Good luck

Dennis
preacherdave
preacherdave

Hi ETBRIGHT, Physical therapy will be very important to you- hospital setting is best in my opinion. A wheelchair slim enough to get in the bathroom and closet is very helpful. I use an extended tub bench and handheld shower hose to bathe. Most of all---DON'T FALL!!! Blessings, preacherdave
deleted_user
deleted_user

A lot of good advice here.
Several of us have been amputees for some time now (2 years past June 11th, for me.)
Don't forget that you are an amputee. I know that statement seems stupid, but you might wake up one morning (usually soon after you have come out of hospital) and try to stand up on 2 legs. I did and fell on two occasions. Fortunately the wall is within arms reach of my bed and no damage was done.
On another occasion, when I was using my wheelchair, before I got my prosthetic, I leaned forward too far and the wheelchair toppled forward and I landed on my stump. Fortunately the only damage done was bruising. I have a friend that fell on his stump and his stitches split open. Another friend broke a bone on the end of the stump. My advice to you is..... take it easy. You must remember that It is not a race, and that your recovery will take some time.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Share your feelings with your significant other. You are both going through this for the first time, and both of you will have many different emotions throughout your recovery. Always remember that all of your feelings are valid, and most of all, please be patient and kind to yourself.
Best of luck to you, my thoughts are with you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Very good advise. I am a new Amputee below the knee. Patience is going to be your best friend. I lost my leg in April and just now getting my new leg. What I did after coming home was to put my walker on my side of bed so I would see it when I got up.Because you may forget that you don't have a leg. Your atittude will also be your best friend. Being grateful also helps alot. GRATEFUL to be alive.
deleted_user
deleted_user

There has been some great advise here.

I know one big thing is to allow yourself to feel the emotions that any surgery will bring up. Focus on the future, as an able bodied person, because you will be as soon as you are up and moving again.

I recommend a recliner for your recovery. It's comfy, and it elevates your leg and stump. You need to keep your stump as straight as possible, to prevent atrophy. I also recommend speaking to a PT for exercises you can do prior to surgery, as well as exercises that you can do while still healing.

I got a rolling walker (A rollator) for use in my house. I could put my lunch in the bag, and my knee of my stumpy leg up on the seat then kick it like it was a scooter. Or I could sit on it and scoot around in reverse. Your hands/arms WILL get sore and tired from using crutches; the rollator saved me lots of pain.

Before you go for surgery, get your bathroom and bedroom as clutter free as possible. Make sure that you know how to get in and out of the tub on a transfer bench. Put a rubber mat in the bottom of the shower, so you don't slip even if you are sitting. Get a hand held shower head. You can get a dual one-- one standard, one handheld, so whoever else is showering can have a regular stand up one.
You might consider getting a cast shower cover; it will be "too big" but it will do the work. I wear my cast cover when I am in hotels, etc, and there is no shower chair-- I just wear my prosthesis and the cover and my leg stays dry. Make sure that there are dishes-- preferrably plastics, available for you to use while in recovery. You WILL drop some things. Plastic won't break nearly as much. Make sure you have a sturdy shoe to wear on your remaining foot, something stable not a sandal or flipflop. You want a good, firm footing when you are starting to hobble around, and support for your foot that is now carrying all your weight. Get Netflix or something like that, so you can stream movies. Check out the library or used book store, as you will have time to read. Try to change out of just pj's to something casual and comfy, so you feel a bit more human. Practice going up and down your front steps or stairs inside. Practice using the toilet, and keep a leg up in the air. I you're a guy, you will most likely be sitting down to pee for a while-- deal with it. :) I had installed rails/handles on my toilet, to help me stand or lower myself safely..... there's nothing quite so much fun as falling off the throne with your pants down and having to go!
Try to watch what you eat while you are recovering. Pain meds cause BAD constipation: take some stool softeners before surgery, and it will make things easier. You might need them as well post surgery, as you will still be on meds that slow things down. The last thing you want is a pain in your ass, right? :o

I won't lie to you-- The pain is effing brutal, but then it is over. Listen to your body, and take care of yourself.
deleted_user
deleted_user

hi i had mine done on the 9 of sept, its tough at first and dont underestimate how hard it will be to start, just take it one day at a time. having been on crutches for six years i thought i would cope really well but found using the wheelchair much easier, just becarefull its easy to tip it.
mine is at the alomst healed scab stage and hoefully starting physio next week hang in there it will get better.
tc xxx
deleted_user
deleted_user

Follow your doctor's orders! Take your pain & phantom pain medications faithfully! Allow yourself to HEAL. Allow yourself to cry. Be careful with yourself & be careful not to fall. Time is on your side & physical therapy is extremely important. All the equipment others have suggested is very necessary. Allow others to help you and be very thankful for them. My thougths & prayers are with you. Find as many things as you can to LAUGH about! Laughter is good medicine!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I want to thank all of you for the advise and support, with you i know i'll o k.. Thank you all so very much. :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am an AK now for just over 3 yrs. The most important thing is do not fall and make sure you have everything you need before hand. There is a good list out there. My advise is to also get 3 ace bandages and learn to wrap your stump. If you need a how to send me a message and I will make you a video. The wrapping will aide in swelling reduction as well as shrinking your nub. The way I wrap has done more for my shrinking that the shrinker socks. The only reason I use a shrinker now is for extra tensile strength. Trust me do not fall on your stump. I had to have a revision this year bc my femur fractured and I developed heterotopic ossification and was in all kinds of pain. Any questions do not be afraid to ask. NEVER GIVE UP
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi, this is a great group, I am having a below-the-knee amputation on Nov. 18th, and wanted to say hello to everyone.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Indianab77>>> start a new post so we can introduce ourselves.

WELCOME TO THE GROUP!!!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I learned do NOT walk on slippery grass w/crutches, the hard way, hurt pretty bad for a few minutes, doing great now and being more careful.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Mine is on the 23rd. Wondering the same thing. Hope all goes well. Be strong!!!

Dave