How to walk again after amputation of the leg or foot

To walk again, after amputation of the leg or foot, it may be necessary to use prostheses, crutches or wheelchairs to facilitate mobilization and regain independence in daily activities, such as working, cooking or cleaning the house, for example.

However, the type of help to get back to walking should be evaluated by an orthopedist and by the physiotherapist, usually it can be started 1 week after the amputation, respecting the following order:

  • Physiotherapy sessions;
  • Use of wheelchairs;
  • Use of crutches;
  • Prosthesis use.

Recovery after amputation should be done in physiotherapy clinics or INTO - National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics, to learn how to use crutches, wheelchairs or prostheses correctly and strengthen muscles to improve balance.

How to walk with a wheelchair

A physiotherapist will be able to personally teach you how to get around with a wheelchair, but to walk with a wheelchair after amputation you must use a chair suitable for the person's weight and size and follow the following steps:

  1. Lock the wheelchair;
  2. Sit in the chair with your back straight and with your foot resting on the chair supports;
  3. Hold the wheel rim and propel the chair forward with your arms.

The wheelchair can be manual or automatic, however, the automatic chair should not be used because it weakens the muscles and makes it difficult to use prostheses or crutches.

How to walk with crutches

To walk with crutches after amputation of a leg, it is important to start by doing physical therapy exercises to strengthen the arms and trunk to gain strength and balance. Then, the crutches should be used as follows:

  1. Support the two crutches forward on the floor, at arm's length;
  2. Push the body forward, supporting all the weight on the crutches;
  3. Repeat these steps to walk with the crutches.

In addition, to go up and down stairs you must place the 2 crutches on the same step and swing the trunk in the direction you want. To learn more, see: How to use crutches correctly.

How to walk with prosthesis

In most cases, the person who loses the lower limb can walk again using a prosthesis, which is equipment used to replace the amputated limb and, therefore, must be functional to facilitate movement.

However, not everyone can use this equipment and, therefore, an evaluation by the doctor is necessary to indicate whether or not you can use prosthesis and, which is the most suitable for each case. Physiotherapy sessions are essential to make a good transition from crutches or wheelchairs to the prosthesis.

How to place the prosthesis

To put the prosthesis it is important to put on the protective stocking, insert the prosthesis and check that it is well fitted. Find out what care to take with the stump at: How to care for the amputation stump.

Although, walking again after an amputation requires a lot of effort, it is possible to regain independence on a daily basis and therefore it is recommended to do physical therapy about 5 times a week at the clinic or at home, always respecting the physiotherapist's indications. for faster recovery.

See how to adapt the house to facilitate walking in: Adaptation of the house for the elderly.