BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuLeg amputation - dischargeAmputation - leg - discharge; Below knee amputation - discharge; BK amputation - discharge; Above knee - discharge; AK - discharge; Trans-femoral amputation - discharge; Trans-tibial amputation - dischargeYou were in the hospital because all or part of your leg was removed. Your recovery time may vary depending on your overall health and any complications that may have occurred. This article gives you information on what to expect and how to care for yourself during your recovery.When You're in the HospitalYou have had all or part of your leg amputated. You may have had an accident, or your leg may have had a blood clot, infection, or disease, and doctors could not save it.What to Expect at HomeYou may feel sad, angry, frustrated and depressed. All of these feelings are normal and may arise in the hospital or when you get home. Make sure you talk with your health care providers about your feelings and ways to get help managing them if needed.It will take time for you to learn to use a walker, and a wheelchair. It will also take time to learn to get in and out of the wheelchair.You may be getting a prosthesis, a man-made limb to replace your limb that was removed. It will take time for your prosthesis to be made. When you have it, getting used to it will also take time.ProsthesisA prosthesis is a device designed to replace a missing part of the body or to make a part of the body work better. Diseased or missing eyes, arms, h...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article You may have pain in your limb for several days after your surgery. You may also have a feeling that your limb is still there. This is called phantom sensation. Phantom sensationAfter one of your limbs is amputated, you may feel as if the limb is still there. This is called phantom sensation. You may feel:Pain in your limb ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Self-careFamily and friends can help. Talking with them about your feelings may make you feel better. They can also help you do things around your house and when you go out.If you feel sad or depressed, ask your provider about seeing a mental health counselor for help with your feelings about your amputation.If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar in good control.Keep your blood sugar in good controlWhen you have diabetes, you should have good control of your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is not controlled, serious health problems called comp...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article If you have poor blood flow, follow your provider's instructions for diet and medicines. Your provider may give you medicines for your pain.You may eat your normal foods when you get home.If you smoke before your injury, stop after your surgery. Smoking can affect blood flow and slow down healing. Ask your provider for help on how to quit.ActivityDo things that will help you get stronger and do your daily activities, such as bathing and cooking. You should try to do as much as possible on your own.When you are sitting, keep your stump straight and level. You can put your stump on a padded board to keep it straight when you are sitting. You can also lie on your belly to make sure your leg is straight. This can help keep your joints from getting stiff.Try not to turn your stump in or out when you are lying in bed or sitting in a chair. You can use rolled up towels or blankets next to your legs to keep them in line with your body.Do not cross your legs when you are sitting. It can stop the blood flow to your stump.You may raise up the foot of your bed to keep your stump from swelling and to help ease pain. Do not place a pillow under your stump.Wound and Stump CareKeep your wound clean and dry unless your provider tells you it is OK to get it wet. Clean the area around the wound gently with mild soap and water. Do not rub the incision. Allow water to flow gently over it. Do not take a bath or swim.Wound clean and dryAn incision is a cut through the skin made during surgery. It is also called a "surgical wound. " Some incisions are small. Others are very long. ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article After your wound is healed, keep it open to the air unless a provider or nurse tells you something different. After dressings have been removed, wash your stump daily with mild soap and water. Do not soak it. Dry it well. After dressings have been removedYou will need to change the dressing on your limb. This will help your stump heal and stay healthy.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Inspect your stump everyday. Use a mirror if it is hard for you to see all around it. Look for any red areas or dirt.Wear your elastic bandage all the time. Rewrap it every 2 to 4 hours. Make sure there are no creases in it. Wear your stump protector whenever you are out of bed.Ask your provider for help with pain. Two things that may help are:Tapping along the scar and in small circles along the stump, if that is not painful Rubbing the scar and stump gently with linen or soft cotton Lie on your stomach 3 or 4 times a day for about 20 minutes. This will stretch out your hip muscle. If you had a below-the-knee amputation, you may put a pillow behind your calf to help straighten your knee.Practice transfers at home.Go from your bed to your wheelchair, a chair, or the toilet. Bed to your wheelchairFollow these steps to move a patient from bed to a wheelchair. The technique below assumes the patient can stand on at least one leg. If the patient...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Go from a chair to your wheelchair. Go from your wheelchair to the toilet. Stay as active with your walker as you can.Ask your provider for advice about how to avoid constipation.Avoid constipationConstipation is when you do not pass stool as often as you normally do. Your stool may become hard and dry, and it is difficult to pass.Read Article Now Book Mark Article When to Call the DoctorCall your provider if:Your stump looks redder or there are red streaks on your skin going up your leg Your skin feels warmer to touch There is swelling or bulging around the wound There is new drainage or bleeding from the wound There are new openings in the wound, or the skin around the wound is pulling away Your temperature is above 101.5°F (38.6°C) more than once Your skin around the stump or wound is dark or it is turning black Your pain is worse and your pain medicines are not controlling it Your wound has gotten larger A foul smell is coming from the wound Open ReferencesReferencesLavelle DG. Amputations of the lower extremity. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, Canale ST, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 16.Rose E. Management of amputations. In: Roberts JR, Custalow CB, Thomsen TW, eds. Roberts and Hedges' Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 47.US Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA/DoD clinical practice guideline: Rehabilitation of lower limb amputation (2017). www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/Rehab/amp. Updated October 4, 2018. Accessed July 14, 2020.AllVideoImagesTogStump care - illustration Lie on your stomach 3 or 4 times a day for about 20 minutes. Lying on your stomach will help stretch out your hip muscle to avoid contracture of your stump.Stump careillustrationStump care - illustration Lie on your stomach 3 or 4 times a day for about 20 minutes. Lying on your stomach will help stretch out your hip muscle to avoid contracture of your stump.Stump careillustrationSelf Care Leg or foot amputation - dressing changeRelated Information Leg or foot amputation(Surgery)Traumatic amputation(Injury)Blastomycosis(Condition)Peripheral artery disease - legs(Condition)Type 1 diabetes(Condition)Type 2 diabetes(Condition)Compartment syndrome(Condition)Tips on how to quit smoking(Special Topic)Foot amputation - discharge(Discharge)Leg or foot amputation - dressing change(Self-Care)Phantom limb pain(Self-Care)Bathroom safety for adults(Self-Care)Surgical wound care - open(Self-Care)Preventing falls(Self-Care)Diabetes - foot ulcers(Self-Care)Managing your blood sugar(Self-Care)Controlling your high blood pressure(Self-Care)Preventing falls - what to ask your doctor (Doctor Questions)Diabetes - type 1(In-Depth)Diabetes - type 2(In-Depth)Peripheral artery disease and intermittent claudication(In-Depth) Review Date: 7/8/2020 Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.