Educating Patients with Amputations

February 13, 2008 at 9:28 pm 11 comments

Aside from educating an amputee about phantom limb pain, what else do occupational therapists have to teach patients?  The things I can think of are: skin checks, wound care, ace wrapping, and splint education.  Anything else?

(My question refers to on top of the usual ADL training that we would do)


Entry filed under: acute care, amputations, occupational therapy, Open Questions, OT, Patient Education, phys dys, treatment.

Acute Care is Intense Studying Abroad

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kami  |  February 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I’m on my Level II clinical rotations and I currently have a patient with a finger amputation. What about psychological problems (such as denial and grief) that come with losing a digit or limb? Where does OT fit there?

  • 2. aishel  |  February 18, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Good question Kami. Other psychosocial issues can include issues with appearance and disfigurement. I think that as OTs, we have to try and prove to patients that with occupational adaptation, they can still be functional without that specific finger. I always like to say focus on the ‘ability part of ‘disability.’ We have to acknowledge their grief and validate their feelings, but we also have to show them that they can be functional. [/my two cents]

  • 3. Susanna T.  |  April 18, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I am a student at a school for occupational therapy from germany. We recently talked about the treatment of amputees and our teacher told us about a book, in which there was a describtion of a funeral. It was the funeral of a leg, which a boy lost. He had the wish to burry his leg after he lost it so he had the chance to say goodbye. Most of the people do not get the time for saying googbye. Losing a part of the body is no less dramatic than losing a beloved person. As therapist, we should be aware of this and give amputees the possibility for mourning.

    • 4. Sarah  |  March 6, 2013 at 6:12 am

      Hi Susanna. Need a big favour. I am an OT student in Australia. I am currently treating a german client on my placement. The language barrier is severly affecting our progress. I have been searching every where for a pressure care hand out in German. Please tell me you have something that could help?

  • 5. aishel  |  April 27, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Susanna, that is a very touching story, thank you!

  • 6. Elizabeth Cook OTD, OTR/L  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Depending on the amputee and type of amputation, I talk about different terminal devices for sports, etc.

    I also educate on pressure relief.

  • 7. Mike  |  November 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I lost the end of my index finger back in June of this year (09) at the first joint from the end. I lost the knuckle too. On one of my follow up visits I told the doc of how I wasn’t getting used to the left over finger at all. It is almost always very cold, it feels strange to touch something with it, and I basically just keep it stuck out straight from my hand. I also have this thing about people noticing it (like at a drive thru window). He said to try it for a year, and if I wasn’t happy that i might consider a Ray Amputation. I have searched for someone else that has already experienced this so that I could find out how they feel about the ray amputation. I am strongly considering it.

  • 8. Katy  |  April 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Pts who are preparing to receive and use a prosthesis may need fine motor activities to strengthen hand muscles for being able to don the prosthesis and liner (ie aka amputation). Leg amputees often have diabetes which may have also caused them to have neuropathy or other lack of sensation, strenth in fingers/hands, so fm activities are appropriate.

  • 9. Alpesh  |  May 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    One of my nephew who is 13 yr old lost his last finger in an accident. Is there any chance that we can replace his finger with someone else’s finger, say mine?

  • 10. Stacey  |  April 23, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Hey I am a student in SA. Have been given the question of developing a preventative and promotive programme for a new ubove knee amputation due to diabetes. Any suggestions that have worked in the past.

  • 11. Melissa Spurling-Purkis  |  May 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Hi I am an OT Student from the UK, I am looking into what makes effective training? Can you tell me your views on what type of training has been most effective for you and your patients?
    Thanks Melissa


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