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2 prosthetists discussing with a doctor while one is holding a tablet

Pre-amputation preparation

Step by step guide what to consider and how to prepare your patients and their relatives for a planned amputation.

Step by step guide what to consider and how to prepare your patients and their relatives for a planned amputation.

Pre-amputation Preparation

Getting ready for life after limb loss

Ideally, every patient who loses a lower limb should be extensively prepared for their procedure by an interdisciplinary care team: their surgeon, physical therapist, and a certified prosthetist/orthotist (CPO). Of course, this is typically only possible for planned amputations related to conditions like diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), or cancer — but not for patients who experience traumatic amputations.

For patients with scheduled amputations, education is the priority before their procedure. Focus on:

  • Helping the patient and their family understand what to expect from the time immediately after amputation

  • Explaining the first rehabilitation steps in detail

  • Helping them become familiar with the first exercises the patient will need to start doing immediately after surgery

For the CPO or O&P professional, it’s also time to start thinking ahead about potential prosthesis options — and which will be most appropriate based on the patient’s predicted residual limb.

Amputation levels

Amputation level is one of several key factors that help determine suitable prosthesis options for each patient. The patient’s surgical team will determine the exact location during their preoperative planning. Typically, they will select a level based on the goal (preventative vs. traumatic) and cause of the patient’s amputation (e.g., injury, infection, necrosis, tumor, etc).

Graphic showing a schematic lower body with bones illustrated and amputation levels marked

Click the entries below to learn more about each different lower limb amputation level:

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More back to mobility topics

Prosthetist examines the residual limb and liner of a leg amputee with his hands

Post-amputation recovery

Take the right actions to set up your patient for a successful development back to mobility.

Take the right actions to set up your patient for a successful development back to mobility.

Prosthetist sitting at a table and talking to a leg amputee who shows his residual limb with a liner on

Prosthetic fitting

Prepare your patient for a first prosthetic fitting by restoring your patient’s mobility and explain components of a prosthetic legs.

Prepare your patient for a first prosthetic fitting by restoring your patient’s mobility and explain components of a prosthetic legs.

Leg amputee with Ottobock Kenevo microprocessor knee at gait training getting instructions from a prosthetist holding a tablet

Prosthesis and gait training

Educate your patients getting familiar with the prosthesis and guiding through gait training.

Educate your patients getting familiar with the prosthesis and guiding through gait training.

Amputee with Ottobock Kenevo microprocessor knee walking down a steep meadow while getting advice from prosthetist standing in front of him

Back to life and refitting

Supporting your patients to reintegrate with their prosthetic leg into daily life.

Supporting your patients to reintegrate with their prosthetic leg into daily life.