Amputee Rehabilitation at CHRISTUS Health
Losing a limb, like a hand, arm or leg, is an emotionally difficult experience that may leave you feeling overwhelmed, angry and frustrated. Grief and a sense of loss are common emotions faced when dealing with amputation.
At CHRISTUS Health, we are dedicated to honoring each individual with caring, personalized treatment that is tailored to meet their unique needs and ambitions.
Feelings of insecurity or vulnerability due to physical changes and the need for prosthetics or mobility aids can add to the emotional burden. In addition, some people may struggle with low self-esteem as they adjust to new circumstances.
CHRISTUS Health aims to provide comprehensive amputee rehabilitation services to restore you physically, psychologically and spiritually.
What is Amputee Rehabilitation?
A limb is an appendage of the body and includes the arms and legs, collectively known as limbs, hands, feet, fingers and toes.
Limbs provide a person with increased mobility and dexterity, allowing them to perform specific tasks. In addition, a limb can be essential to a person's identity, providing physical strength and a sense of belonging.
Rehab for an amputation includes physical therapy techniques and exercises, prosthetic fittings, psychological counseling, vocational retraining in some cases and lifestyle changes.
The goals of rehabilitative care are specific to each individual. However, the ultimate aim is for each individual to achieve the highest level of moving independence as much as possible.
Each amputee's journey is unique, and there is no single approach to rehabilitating an amputee. Instead, rehabilitation is tailored specifically for each patient and their situation.
Amputee Rehabilitation Process
Depending on the patient's needs, rehabilitation may begin before amputation and continue after surgery. The rehabilitation process includes physical therapy techniques and exercises to improve mobility.
Types of Treatment
Through a comprehensive treatment plan, the amputee rehabilitation team helps restore function, reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve the quality of life for the individual.
- Physical Therapy: Helps individuals regain strength, flexibility, and muscle control. Patients may use special adaptive equipment such as prostheses or orthoses, manual therapy techniques such as massage and stretching, therapeutic exercises, gait training, and balance activities.
- Occupational Therapy: Helps amputees learn how to perform everyday tasks and activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and cooking.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Helps individuals understand and learn to manage emotions related to their amputation and reduce pain or fear associated with it.
- Vocational Therapy: This assists amputees in obtaining or returning to gainful employment. This type of therapy may include job-related assessment, career counseling, job placement assistance, and work skills development.
- Recreational Therapy: Activities that allow amputees to practice using their prostheses or adaptive equipment in a safe and supportive environment.
- Mental Health: Mental health counseling helps individuals develop positive coping strategies and stress management techniques.
- Nutritional Counseling: Proper nutrition helps promote healing and recovery from injuries or surgeries.
Common conditions treated in amputee rehab include:
- Developing remaining limb strength and balance
- Reduce swelling in the residual limb
- Phantom limb pain
- Sore or weak muscles and joints
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
- Scar tissue formation
- Fear or further injury or pain and depression
Amputee Rehabilitation Team
The multidisciplinary team typically includes medical professionals, physical therapists, occupational therapists, vocational counselors, and psychologists.
The team works together to treat individuals in all areas of their lives. They help them adjust to living with an amputation and maximize their physical abilities.
As the world continues to progress in medical technology and understanding, amputation is no longer entirely disabling for those who suffer from it. Through dedication and hard work, individuals can continue to live their life with passion and purpose, while adjusting to a new normal.