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Ottobock.care | Living with a leg amputation

Preparing for your amputation surgery.

Summary

Preparing yourself for a planned amputation

You may have known about your amputation surgery for a while, or may have just found out. Either way, we understand that this is difficult to hear. Remember you are not alone, your treatment team, family and loved ones are there to support you. We want to help you prepare yourself for this step, learn what happens when a leg is amputated, who looks after you and especially what happens afterwards.

Here are a few of the topics they’ll discuss with you, and that you’ll learn about in this article: 

  • The different kinds of lower limb amputations (“amputation levels”), and what to know about the kind you’ll experience

  • Important ways to start preparing for your amputation surgery, and how it will impact your everyday life

  • How and where to find support for your daily life with lower limb difference

Get in touch with experts

Get in touch with experts

Even though it’s so important, many people don’t realise that you can have influence on who will be treating you. Your care team includes everyone who looks after you during and after the amputation. The team centres around your O&P professional, who also coordinates the process. It’s important that you are treated by specialists with plenty of experience with leg amputees. We provide you with information here so you can learn all about the general treatment process and the various tasks of everyone involved. Our list of experts helps you get in contact with the right specialists, and you can use our checklist to make sure you have considered all the steps.

Reasons for amputation

Common reasons for lower limb amputation

An amputation is the surgical removal of part of the body and is required when an injured or diseased body part is not expected to heal and as a result poses a risk the patient’s life. Causes may include circulatory disorders, infections, accidents, cancer or a congenital limb difference (dysmelia). In some cases, the need for an amputation is known some time in advance. On the other hand, amputations are sometimes necessary entirely unexpectedly, for example, due to severe injuries after an accident.

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Amputation levels

The appropriate amputation level is established

The term amputation level describes the place where a body part is amputated. It is established by the doctor before the operation and is based on the reason for amputating.

If the surgery is planned, your O&P professional can be included in the consultations beforehand. The O&P professional can provide advice regarding the most suitable amputation level for the subsequent fitting with a prosthesis.

This is because the amputation level is one of the factors in determining the right prosthesis. It establishes what parts and joints of your leg have to be replaced by a prosthesis.

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Treatment team

These experts are there for you and look after your treatment

A team of experts from various disciplines handles your treatment before and after an amputation. We have listed the members of this team here and described the role each of them plays in your treatment.

The O&P professional plays a pivotal role within this team. We advise you to seek contact with them even before the amputation if possible. Our list of experts can help you find someone who already has a great deal of experience in working with leg amputees and is therefore able to provide you with good advice.

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Further Information

Further Information

Man after amputation looks out of window
Living with a leg amputation

After leg amputation

Read about what to expect after a leg amputation, how to heal your residual limb, and finding the right rehabilitation facilities.

Read about what to expect after a leg amputation, how to heal your residual limb, and finding the right rehabilitation facilities.

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First steps with a prosthesis

Rehabilitation and leg prosthesis

Discover detailed information on caring for the residual limb, handling prostheses and gait training for a life with a leg prosthesis.

Discover detailed information on caring for the residual limb, handling prostheses and gait training for a life with a leg prosthesis.

Prosthetic user with C-Leg is walking
Discover prosthetic legs

Prosthetic legs

Learn how prosthetic legs help people regain their mobility, rebuild their confidence, and explore their world again.

Learn how prosthetic legs help people regain their mobility, rebuild their confidence, and explore their world again.

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