Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation process after a limb amputation is unique for everyone.
Limb amputation is undoubtedly a major life event that will result in many changes to a person’s lifestyle.
Our team understand many feel a strong sense of loss following an amputation and whilst there is no set path to reaching acceptance of the loss of a limb, talking about it can be very helpful.
Once TLCU have created you a personalised prosthesis, you can then begin the rehabilitation process with your new limb.
Our team offer a range of support and services to ensure your road to recovery runs as smooth as possible. We understand new amputees are concerned about the impact on your lifestyle and it’s our job to assist in resolving any fears and concerns that may arise, as well as show you the way forward with your new prosthesis. We believe addressing issues will greatly assist in the rehabilitation process and will enable an amputee to gain the most from a prosthesis.

Major Causes of Amputation

  • Surgery altercation
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular (PUD)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic infection
  • Unexpected accidents
  • Tumours
  • Birth deformities

Types of Amputation

  • Mid foot amputation
  • Ankle level amputation
  • Trans-tibial amputation (below knee)
  • Trans-femoral amputation (above knee)
  • Trans-radial (below elbow)
  • Trans-humeral (above elbow)

Some Common Concerns Include

  • Level of physical ability
  • Change of appearance and body image
  • Employment issues
  • Financial changes

Do you have questions but you’re not
sure who you need to talk to?

That’s fine, any of our team members will happily discuss any questions you may have. If there is someone who
is better suited to assist you, our staff will provide advice on who to talk to. Feel free to download our extensive
Client Information Booklet or contact our team directly on 08 9277 2988.

In addition to our expertise, there are several support services which we encourage clients’ to use.
Our previous clients have found some of the following helpful:

Rehabilitation Team

Post surgery procedures and rehabilitation is not a quick fix or a one step process, below is how our team can assist you on your journey to recovery. The rehabilitation team consists of a rehabilitation specialist, prosthetist, physiotherapist and an occupational therapist all of which are available on site. Each plays their own unique role working together as a team alongside the client to create and complete a rehabilitation program.

Rehabilitation Specialist

The rehabilitation specialist is a doctor who has undertaken training in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, including amputees. Do you have questions about your rehabilitation program?
I can help you!

  • My role is to lead the rehabilitation program
  • Amputees can come in contact with me either before or after amputation
  • Our rehab team takes responsibility for all clinical decisions made and inpatient rehabilitation programmes.
  • Our TLCU rehab specialists have experience working with individuals with disabilities including amputees.
  • The rehab team is based out of Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH)

Prosthetist

We have a number of top prosthetists who are responsible for the creation of client’s personalised prosthesis. Do you have questions regarding your prosthesis?
I’m the person to talk to.

  • I am responsible for the designing, making and fitting your prosthesis
  • My job is to make you feel as comfortable as possible, including helping with any adjustments you require
  • Together with the clinical team the prosthetist will design a personalised treatment plan

Physiotherapist

Our specialist registered Physiotherapist has a passion for amputee management and offers a variety of services to ensure the maximum functionality of your new medical device. TLCU’s Physiotherapy Services include but not limited to:

  • Detailed gait and motion assessment and analysis
  • Gait and transfer re-training and improvement
  • Personalized exercise programs
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Group exercise programs
  • Dry needling
  • Osseointergration training
  • Training in the use of new technology products
  • Training tailored to your amputation and prosthetic or orthotic requirements

Do you want to move about safely and confidently? Let’s talk!

  • You’ll meet me in the hospital ward post-surgery
  • Once you have been given your prosthesis we will work with the prosthetist to achieve a comfortable walking style
  • My job it to set personalised balance, stretching and resistance exercises
  • Be nice to us we are in charge of your fitness work outs

Occupational Therapist

The occupational therapist will assist with practicing activities that are relevant to your lifestyle.
Need assistance with your independence?
Give me a call or come in and chat.

  • I understand it’s important to feel independent with and without your prosthesis
  • My role is to assist you with practicing daily activities and tasks
  • With the assistance of our therapy team I will help you practice essential lifestyle activities
  • My job is based out of Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH)

“I found the experience uplifting, this team actually understand any and all issues
around amputations, prosthetics no matter how, when or why.”

Sandra Kyle-Lee – TLCU Patient

Rehabilitation Challenges

There are a number of challenges that may occur post amputation. Our team works with you to identify sensations and pains that may occur.
Although pain is common after an amputation, in most cases it doesn’t last long and only very few individuals have ongoing problems.

What you could be feeling…

Residuum Pain

The pain that is felt in the remaining part of the amputated limb. This is a common post-surgery pain as the wound is trying to heal.
Causes for this pain may be:

  • Infection (causing skin to be hot, swollen and discoloured)
  • Neuromas (a group of very sensitive nerves)
  • Bone spurs (Small bone growths)

Phantom Pain and Sensation

Phantom pain refers to feeling of pain in a limb that no longer exists. Phantom sensation is not so much a pain but the feeling that the removed limb is still there. There are a number of treatments that can help including both medications and alternative therapies. The occurrence of these sensations is common and many individuals who experience this type of pain find it decreases throughout the rehabilitation process.

Swelling

Post-surgery the remaining limb will swell. This swelling is called oedema and is caused by the build-up of fluid in the residuum (remaining limb).
Compression is the most effective method of reducing swelling and can be achieved in a number of ways including:

  • Applying a rigid removable dressing post-surgery
  • Bandaging or compression socks

Rehabilitation is a complex part of your amputation journey. Our team is there at every stage to answer any questions you may have or solve any issues you may come across. The rehabilitation journey is different for everyone. If you would like to read more information about the potential challenges an amputee could face please feel free to download of Client Information Booklet, stop by or contact us today.

For more information please refer to our Client Information Booklet.

Prothesis and Limb Care

There are a number of ways to clean your prosthesis, liners, socket and socks. These cleaning methods play a very import part in a successful rehabilitation program as a prosthesis that is clean will give fewer problems than one that is neglected. If you require further information please refer to our Client Information Booklet or prosthetist for the best personalised cleaning methods.

Prosthetic Components

Cleaning your prosthesis is IMPORTANT!
We can help you with this, your prosthesis requires very specific maintenance please ask your prosthetist for the appropriate instructions and cleaning methods. If you are worried about any of your components please feel free to Contact Us.

Liner

If you have a prosthetic liner you can use a damp cloth and soapy water to wipe it out on a daily basis. We recommend you clean your liner at night so it has enough time to completely dry by the morning. Please DO NOT put your liner in a washing machine or clothes dryer, as it may damage it beyond repair.

Socket

The socket that is being used will determine whether it needs cleaning weekly or daily. Please ask your prosthetist for advice. We recommend you DO NOT use Dettol or other cleaning agents to clean your socket or liner.

Residual Socks

There are two main reasons for wearing residual socks which include, protecting the residual limb from excessive rubbing against the socket and to allow the prosthesis to fit better as your residual limb changes. Sometimes clients find one sock is not enough and often add a second sock later in the day. Like the previous prosthesis parts and regular socks, it’s very important to keep your stump socks clean.
Residual limb socks should be changed and cleaned daily using the following methods:

  • Hand wash with warm soapy water
    (using hot water might cause shrinking)
  • Rinse with clean water
  • Once washed, lay and roll the socks in a towel to remove any excess water
  • Hang to dry

Please Do Not:

  • Wring them out, twist or rub socks together
    (they may lose their shape)
  • Once washed, lay and roll the socks in a towel to remove any excess water
  • Hang to dry

Using the correct cleaning methods for client’s prosthesis, liner, socket and sock will aid the rehabilitation process and allow the prosthesis to last longer. If you have any further questions about the rehabilitation team, processes or cleaning give us a call today or enquire below.

Home Modifications

Home modifications and equipment can make the return to living an independent life easier and safer. The number and type of home adaptations you may need depends on the type of amputation and your general health. Our rehabilitation team are here to assist with choosing equipment and making recommendations for the home.

An occupational therapist can arrange a visit to evaluate your home environment. Once we have completed an assessment of previously achieved activities and taken into account the lifestyle you are looking to live, we can then recommend what equipment you need and where you can be purchased. Our friendly team will help narrow down what you need from the wide range available, as well as advise you on the eligibility measures for funding assistance.

Contact Our Team Today to discuss your home modification needs.

Driving

Amputation of a limb certainly doesn’t mean a person will never drive again.

Through an assessment process, and practice using modified controls, most drivers who become amputees return to driving. Specialised modifications fitted to the motor vehicle’s controls allow amputees the ability to drive as efficiently as able bodied people. An occupational therapist will discuss your responsibility to notify the licensing authority and your motor vehicle insurer. Driver’s licences need to be endorsed for drivers using a prosthesis or adaptive equipment, such as hand controls, spinner knobs and left foot accelerators.

If you need more information please feel to Contact Our Team Today.
We also recommend talking to TL Engineering (9279 5466) for discussions about vehicle adaptations.