Prosthetic rehabilitation refers to the care provided to the patients after an amputation.
The purpose of rehabilitation after prosthetics is to provide independence to the amputee. Patients who have lower limb amputation have to develop proper gait functioning. People with amputated limbs go through a series of physical therapies. Whereas, occupational therapies sometimes accompany this.
Assessment for Rehabilitation
A specialist assesses the rehabilitation therapy. During the evaluation, the following points are important;
The current physical capabilities of the patient
The level of amputation
The psychological status of the patient
The function of the body part before amputation
Medical conditions of the patient
Expectation or goals that the patient has in mind
Gait analysis of the patient. This analysis will help the therapist look for errors in walking. Some patient expects a specific outcome during rehabilitation. Some wish to perform minimal walking while some want to run. All this will depend on the rehabilitation of the prosthetic
Exercises Included in Rehabilitation After Prosthetics
1. Center of gravity and weight-bearing
Center of gravity of the body shifts to the other leg after amputation. The rehabilitation will help to orient the center of gravity. It helps to manage the weight placed on the prosthetic leg.
2. Lateral weight shift
For this purpose, the patient stands between two parallel bars. It is like the support that ballerinas use for their practice. The weight slowly shifts from the other limb to the amputated limb. It will help the patient to stabilize and maintain balance.
3. Forward and backward weight shifting
This exercise requires the patient to move back and forth wearing the prosthetic. It will also help to improve the movement of the pelvic bone. This exercise also helps in reducing the need for hand support.
4. Stepping on stair or stool
High stepping using the non-amputated limb on the stool will help to balance on a single leg. It helps in the development of gluteal muscles. This exercise will allow the patient to practice climbing the stair or a stool. The patient will begin to build confidence.
5. Throwing and catching
It is an important exercise for people who have their arms and legs amputated. The therapist throws and catches the ball. This exercise has benefits for leg amputees as well as arm amputees. Catching will help you to build arms, muscles, and coordination.
A necessary rehabilitation process includes all of the above exercises. As the patient improves in balance, the complexity of exercises also increase. Many physiotherapists distribute the rehabilitative phase into four. The rehabilitative programs also include intervention by other occupational and physical specialists.