How is life after amputation

    After amputation of a limb, the patient goes through a recovery phase that includes stump treatments, physiotherapy sessions and psychological counseling, to adapt as best as possible to the new condition and find effective ways to overcome the changes and limitations that amputation provoked.

    Generally, amputation of a limb alters the patient's daily life, however, it is possible to regain autonomy and live a life similar to the previous one, such as working, cleaning the house, cooking or exercising, for example.

    However, this recovery is slow and progressive and requires a lot of willpower from the patient to do daily activities, being necessary to learn to walk again with the use of supports such as crutches, wheelchairs or prostheses. Find out how in: How to walk again after amputation.

    How to deal with loss of amputated limb

    After an amputation, the person has to learn to live without a part of a limb, which normally alters his body image and causes revolt, sadness and a feeling of incapacity, which can lead to isolation or even the development of depression, for example

    Thus, having psychological support right after the amputation is important, to help the patient accept the new body image. The psychologist can do individual or group sessions, focusing on the most positive aspects of the patient's life, reinforcing him with praise or resorting to sharing experiences, for example.

    How to control phantom pain

    Phantom pain usually appears after amputation surgery and, in most cases, is repeated attacks of pain on the side of the amputated limb, as if it were still present. To control phantom pain you can:

    • Touch the stump and massage it. Learn more at: How to care for the amputation stump.
    • Take a pain reliever, like Paracetamol;
    • Apply cold;
    • Occupy the mind, not thinking about the pain.

    This pain can appear soon after surgery or over the years, requiring the person to learn to control the pain with the help of technicians specialized in pain, so that the person can lead a life similar to normal.

    Physical exercise after amputation

    The person with limb amputation can do all types of physical exercise, such as swimming, running or dancing, for example, but needs to make adaptations depending on their limitation.

    Physical exercise should be done at least 3 times a week, for at least 30 minutes and in addition to helping to maintain weight and strengthen muscles, it helps to gain strength, which is essential to correctly use the supports for walking, such as crutches.

    In addition, physiotherapy sessions also complement the practice of physical exercise done on the street or at the gym, as they contribute to increased mobility and balance.

    Feeding after amputation

    The person with amputation must eat a balanced and varied diet throughout life, without specific restrictions.

    However, during the healing phase of the stump it is essential to eat a diet rich in healing foods, such as eating eggs, salmon or kiwis daily, for example, to keep skin and tissue cells hydrated and healthy, facilitating healing and preventing infections. Learn more at: Healing foods.