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Stump care

Amputation stump care – Recovery and model care.

Having to go through an amputation, whether it’s part of a planned procedure or as an emergency situation brings with it the risk of complications associated with limb loss.

Factors such as your state of health the type of amputation you’ve had and of course your age will all affect your speed of recovery and well-being.

The range of complications is wide and may include

  • Heart Attacks
  • Blood Clots
  • Limb Pain
  • Infection of the amputation site
  • Psychological issues around depression and insomnia.
  • Further or secondary amputations

Whilst in the hospital the first stage of recovery should be complete before you are sent home but care is then in the hands of a visiting nurse or your own.

Keeping your stump healthy and clean will be crucial to your mobility. If you get an infection of any kind even a simple inflamation of a hair folicle will be enough to stop you wearing your prosthetis comfortably and as always prevention is better than cure. There is a temptation to wear your prosthetis all day, give yourself a break, take off your prosthetis when you don’t need to wear it, make sure you moisturise your skin regularly.

A lot of sweat occurs when wearing a prosthetis, I personsonally prefer to use the towelling stump socks because they soak up the sweat but you do need to wash them often to reduce the risk of bacteria building up. Antiseptic spray can help keep infection on the skin down as well as an antiseptic shower gel or soap. It is not advisable to try to use talculm powder on your stump and when moisturising with a cream like E45 do it at the end of the day so it has chance to soak in when you prosthetic is not on.

The socket of your prosthetic and the prostetic itself needs to be cleaned daily if possible and weekly washing with a brand like Hibibscrub used by countless Doctors and Surgeons is a good choice. You can get antibacterial wipes that are simple to use and with not a lots of fuss for daily control.

It is very important to give a bit of time every day to inspecting and checking your stump. Look for any signs of infection, the classic ones are swelling and redness of any area, tenderness or heat, sometimes even a discharge or pus forming. Contact your doctor earlier rather than thinking it will go away. It can lead to problems of a long lasting nature and even less mobility for you.

Finally if you have a remaining leg foot or arm it is so important to also take care of it. If you have lost a leg because of a related diabetes illness the remaining leg will be at risk, make sure you have the right loose fitting socks. Good fitting shoes are crucial and agin inspection of your good leg or arm is vital.

I wish you well on your journey to recovery

Best wishes

Steve

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