Taking that First Step: Learning to Walk Again After Bilateral Amputation

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger

Adapting to life after amputation is a journey in its own. Re-learning how to perform many daily tasks can certainly take a toll. If you’re a bilateral lower-limb amputee this means learning how to walk and balance on your new prostheses. Premier Prosthetics would like to encourage you along this process by sharing the key steps throughout your adaptation timeframe:

 

  • Initial recovery phase.

 

After surgery, you will spend some time in a wheelchair while you recover and build your strength. Our physical therapists will show you proper stretches, muscle conditioning tactics and strategies for maneuvering your weight.

 

  • Learning to walk again.

The first prosthesis you use will be short training legs that teach you how to balance. You’ll use your wheelchair less and less during this time and begin adopting canes or crutches instead. Once you’re able to safely walk in your prostheses all day, you’ll be ready to move to the next step.

 

  • Using intermediate devices.

During this process, you will gradually increase the height of your prostheses. You’ll also learn to navigate obstacles such as curbs, inclines and stairs. Physical therapy will continue throughout this time, helping you increase your strength and ability to balance along the way. At this stage, you will have a minimal need for a wheelchair and may be able to stop using it entirely.

 

  • Walking with your full-length legs.

 

After you’ve completed the first three benchmarks, you’ll be ready for custom prosthetic legs. You may still need to use a cane or crutches while you get used to them, but you’ll work on becoming increasingly mobile without them. If you have an above-the-knee amputation, you’ll learn how to perform tasks such as sitting down and walking up and down stairs using your prostheses’ bending motion.

 

These are the steps that you will go through as you begin to walk again, but remember these are emotional steps as well. We recommend reaching out to loved ones during this time and connecting with fellow amputees in the area. Premier Prosthetics is here for you as well. If you’re ready to being your path to mobility, contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our prosthetists.

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