Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
Your Amputation Team
Before and after your surgery, you'll work closely with a team of experts. The members of your team guide you and your family through your surgery and recovery. Get to know the members of your team. Some of the people you'll likely be working with are listed below.
Members of Your Amputation Team
Not every team is made up of the same people. But you may work with many of these experts:
The surgeon performs the actual surgery. The surgeon might specialize in one of several areas, such as bones or sudden injury (trauma). He or she may also write prescriptions needed for further care.
Nurses provide care in the hospital before and after your surgery. Nurses also assist the surgeon and primary care physician.
A physiatrist is an expert in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He or she helps you during the postoperative period and in getting ready for a prosthesis. The physiatrist may also write prescriptions needed for further care.
A physical therapist teaches you stretching and strengthening exercises before and after surgery. He or she teaches you to transfer (move) safely between two surfaces after surgery. The physical therapist helps you learn to walk again after you receive a prosthesis. And he or she also teaches you how to use walking aids, if needed.
An occupational therapist shows you how to resume daily tasks. He or she also teaches you self-care skills after surgery. The occupational therapist can also provide you with adaptive devices to help you complete self-care tasks. This may include tools to assist you in bathing or dressing.
The primary care physician helps you with overall medical care through the amputation and recovery process.
A prosthetist helps you shape your residual limb for a prosthesis. He or she also fits your prosthesis and teaches you how to care for it.
A social worker helps you learn about resources for support. This includes financial and emotional support or home help, if needed.
A psychologist talks to you about emotional issues surrounding limb loss.
A home health worker assists you with daily tasks at home during your recovery.
For Family and Friends
Your role in your loved one's recovery is vital. You can provide support by:
Helping to collect and remember information.
Attending all appointments.
Learning ways to help with pain management.
Assisting in safe transfers.
Learning to help take care of the healing surgical wound.
Taking an active role in daily care.
Attending physical therapy sessions.