Physical rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process. It can be a long, difficult and frustrating process, but it’s important to persevere. After rehabilitation, you should be able to return to work and other activities.
Your rehabilitation programme will be tailored to your individual needs and requirements and will aim to allow you to carry out as many of your normal activities as possible.
You’ll work closely with physiotherapists and occupational therapists who will discuss with you what you’d like to achieve from rehabilitation so that some realistic goals can be set.
Your rehabilitation programme will usually start within a few days of surgery, beginning with some simple exercises you can do while lying down or sitting. If you’ve had a leg amputation, you’ll be encouraged to move around as soon as possible using a wheelchair.
You’ll also be taught “transfer techniques” to help you move around more easily, such as how to get into a wheelchair from your bed.
Once your wound has started to heal, you may start working on an exercise programme with a physiotherapist in the hospital gym to help you maintain your mobility and muscle strength.
If you have a prosthetic limb fitted (see our prosthetics section below), your physiotherapist will teach you how to use it – for example, how to walk on a prosthetic leg or grip with a prosthetic hand.