Each amputee is an individual and needs to be treated as such. Through constant evaluation and re-assessment, we aim to achieve maximum results for each amputee taking into account their amputation level, activity level, physical and psychological status and medical limitations, if any. It is important for everyone in the team and the amputee to work towards achieving the same realistic expectations and goals, which are continuously re-evaluated
Our team, the Cape Amputee Clinic, meets every Thursday with various amputees and their family to conduct a multi-disciplinary evaluation with the input of the amputee and their concerns. We also evaluate on an individual basis where we discuss the various options with regards specific components and what will be best suited for each amputee to achieve their goals.
The amputee is taught the correct technique and importance of applying compression bandages to optimize stump shape and reduce oedema. For more, see stump coning.
The occupational therapist deals with the treatment of scarring using silicone techniques.
Prevention is better than cure – thus the physiotherapist / biokineticist explain exercises for contracture prevention and optinal positioning. See our section contractures.
A number of exercises are given inorder to prepare the stump for the forces it will be exposed to during weight-bearing in the prosthesis and to toughen the skin.
How to transfer safely between wheelchair and bed, and vice versa is taught by the physiotherapist.
The biokineticist / physiotherapist teaches the amputee how to climb up and down stairs safely as well as how to get up from the floor.
The general hygiene and care of the stump is explained by our occupational therapist, as well as treatment for any specific problems that may arise. For additional details, see stump care.
An individualised training programme will be given to each amputee to optimize muscle strength and endurance as well as overall health. This programme will be gym based and involve various exercise equipment and weights. A home programme is also established for optimal results.
ADL (activities of daily living) are the responsibility of the occupational therapist who will give advice on how to perform everyday tasks at home and in the work place.
Various exercises are given for balance and stading, including how to use crutches.
Physiotherapists can assist with TENS or discuss other choices of pain management.
For more details, see our page on Phantom Pain