You are still the same person inside. Amputation is not the end; it is often a new beginning.
Initially, coping with self esteem and psychological issues will be as important as recovering functionally.
Call Sampson's at 374-6011 to arrange a free consultation or for more information on local and national resources available.
It is our goal at Sampson's to re-empower amputees and help them to be successful in adapting physically to their new lives. Upon request, a certified prosthetist is available to meet with you to answer questions, and provide information and resources which will help you make informed decisions regarding your prosthesis and healing. We work nationally through the ACA (Amputee Coalition of America) and locally with health care providers and facilities to offer the most comprehensive programs and services available to amputees.
Peer to Peer
Peer to Peer is designed to provide an opportunity to speak with an amputee who shares a similar background and experience. Peer to Peer offers amputees before or after surgery a chance to speak with someone who has experienced amputation and has been successful in adapting to limb loss. Peer to Peer is provided on a voluntary basis by Sampson's patients who are interested in sharing their experiences with new amputees.
Clinics are available to new amputees and offer an opportunity to work with experts and staff dedicated to the unique needs of the amputee. There are several clinics in the Capital District area; contact Sampson’s at 374-6011 for more information.
Support groups are one way of sharing experiences and learning about other resources available.
So you have had an amputation, what now?
- The Healing Process
- Facing surgery: It is important to understand that the loss of the limb is a life changing event. You will never be the same. However, the loss of a limb is not the end but the beginning. Modern day prosthetics allow individuals to return to their normal daily routine. You may very likely have contact with prosthetic wearers even though you do not realize it.
- Phantom Pain: Phantom pain is pain in the limb, which has been removed. This pain may come and go but should diminish with time and prosthetic intervention.
- Grieving: It is natural to have ups and downs and to mourn the loss of your limb. With time and the return to normal daily activities it will get easier.
- Peer to Peer: It may be of value for you to interact with amputees who have gone through the process you are now facing. This type of meeting can be arranged through your prosthetist.
- Information: The more informed you are about prosthetics the better your prosthesis will be. Your prosthetist is very knowledgeable about prosthetic systems but knows very little about you and your life style. It is important that you take part in your rehabilitation.
- Wound Care: The primary concern is that the wound site is healed. This may take some time. Your physician will determine at which point prosthetic intervention may occur.
- Shrinkers (pro and con): The shrinker is essential to promoting blood flow out of the limb.
- Fitting with or without staples or sutures: The prosthetic fitting may take place even though you have not had your stitches or staples removed.
- Prosthetic Restoration
- Prosthetic Evaluation
- Viability of Residuum
- Skin integrity: Your skin needs to be healed and free of sores and rashes.
- Pain intolerant: Although the prosthesis of today is comfortable compared to those which were produced a decade ago you will still need to get used to the fit and function of the prosthesis.
- Work ethic: Your physical therapist will help you to begin working toward the goal of prosthetic wear. You will need to work at getting used to your new prosthesis. A prosthesis is only a tool. Your success will depend on how well you are able to use that tool.
- Gadget tolerance: Your prosthesis is more complicated than it once was. Your therapist can guide you through the learning process to help you obtain eventual success with your prosthesis. You may need to learn different techniques to using your prosthesis. You will need to work with your prosthetist to design the prosthesis that works best for you.
- Physical Limitations: Stamina, Coordination, and Balance are some of the keys to success with the prosthesis. Your physical and occupational therapists can be key to obtaining the highest levels of function from your prosthesis.
- Skin Condition
- Scarring: Scar tissue is especially susceptible to breakdown. Special attention will be required to ensure that blistering does not occur.
- Swelling: Your limb will go through periods of swelling and shrinking. Typically socks are used to make up for volume changes.
- Rashes: Rashes may limit your ability to utilize certain prosthetic components. Your prosthetist will work with you to avoid rashes.