An above-the-knee amputation is surgical procedure to take off your leg above the knee. Your doctor removed the leg while trying to keep as much robust bone, skin, blood vessel, and nerve tissue as possible.
Soon after an above-the-knee leg amputation, you will most probably have bandages, a rigid dressing, or a cast over the remaining part of your leg (residual limb). The limb will be inflamed for a minimum of 4 weeks after your procedure. If you have a rigid dressing or cast, your doctor will set up regular visits to change the dressing or cast and check the recuperation. If you have elastic bandages, your surgeon will tell you how to change them.
You might possibly have pain in your remaining limb. You also may feel you have feeling or soreness where your leg was. This is called phantom pain. It is commonplace and may come and go for a year or longer. Your physician can give you treatments for both types of distress.
You may well have already started a rehabilitation program (rehab). You will continue this under the guidance of your physician or physiotherapist. You will need to do a lot of work to repair your muscles and relearn activities, balance, and coordination. Rehab can last as long as 1 year.
You may have been fitted with a temporary artificial leg while you were still in the hospital. If this holds true, your doctor will teach you how to care for it. If you are getting an artificial limb, you may need to get used to it before you resume work and your other activities. You will possibly not wear it all the time, so you will will want to learn how to use a wheelchair, crutches, or other machine. You will have to make changes at home. Your office may be able to make allowances for you.
Having your leg amputated is shocking. Learning to live with new restrictions can be hard and exasperating. You may feel depressed or grieve for your previous lifestyle. It is necessary to understand these feelings. Chatting with your family, friends, and health professionals about your frustrations is an important part of your healing. You may also find that it serves to help to talk with an individual who has had an amputation.
Remember that even though losing a limb is difficult, it does not transform who you are or prohibit you from enjoying life. You will have to adapt and learn new ways to do things, but you will still be able to work and take part in sports and tasks. And you can still find out, love, play, and live life to its fullest.