Typically most patients spend enough time in the hospital to be comfortable with activities of daily living; such as, getting up and out of beds/chairs, going to the bathroom, etc. This can take anywhere from three to seven days and, if applicable, a short stay in a rehabilitation unit.
After the initial surgical recovery, it will become important to begin the process of using your limb slowly and carefully.
For the first two weeks, only simple massage and wound/ incision care are recommended; isometric exercises using the muscle groups above the amputation are acceptable.
After approximately two to four weeks, range of motion for the amputated limb can begin. Then isometric exercises are started slowly using all your muscle groups, at which point you will begin to flex and extend slowly, without any weights or pressure. This should start after the sutures are removed, the wound healed, and you are cleared to begin.
After approximately four to six weeks, towel pulls and scale exercises (not over 10–15 lbs.) can begin, in addition to the range of motion, isometrics, and massage.
After six weeks, advanced physical therapy can begin.
Please refer to the separate exercise sheets that we will provide for you.
Our office will prescribe a controlled medicine for management of post-operative pain and, while convalescing from surgery, we will reasonably manage your needs. However, patients must also be responsible for their own health, and the purpose of the medication is to increase your ability to function, although any prescription is unlikely to eliminate pain. The length and duration of surgical pain varies for each individual and can take weeks or months to resolve. Some forms of chronic pain can lead to dependence and, therefore, some pain may not disappear completely after surgery. It is also reasonable that after a period of months the Surgery Clinic may not be able to continue managing your pain needs, as we do not provide long-term/chronic therapy.