After surgery, there are four phases of the rehabilitation process. Last time we examined Phase 2: Preprosthetic Training. Today, we will examine Phases 3 & 4: Basic and Advanced Prosthetic Training.
Phases 3: Basic Prosthetic Training
During the basic prosthetic training phase, the patient will receive an initial prosthesis, and physical therapy will focus on:
During this phase, it is important that the patient be patient. There may be an urge to rush the process, but doing too much too soon may lead to skin irritation or the development of abnormal gait patterns. The physical therapist will push as hard as the patient can safely tolerate, but will need to carefully control the pace of the therapy process.
Phase 4: Advanced Prosthetic Training
Once the basics of prosthetic training are mastered, the next step involves more advanced exercises designed to return the patient to the highest functional level that the injury will allow. At this point, the residual limb is fully fit with the prosthesis and the patient has relearned basic movement and mobility with the prosthesis. It is now time to advance the therapy to the final level so that the patient can return to normal daily activities. From here, it is up to the patient to push himself to comfortable limits, assisted by his physical therapist.
As in the first phase, there will likely be many questions going forward, but the physical therapist can generally answer them thoroughly, but can refer the patient to his doctor or other proper authority if necessary.
Next week, we will examine Part 2 of this series: Occupational Therapy for amputees with prosthetics or orthotics.
If you are in need of post-operative prosthetic or orthotic rehabilitation, don’t wait for your family physician; visit Excel Rehabilitation Services on Burnside Ave. in Gonzales, Louisiana. You will receive one-on-one professional care from an experienced physical therapist!