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What is an Above Knee Amputation?



An above knee amputation is the removal of the lower limb from above the knee which may be done following trauma, disease or congenital disorders. Following an above knee amputation, the patient is offered rehabilitation from a team of healthcare professionals to adapt to life without their leg. Rehabilitation for above knee amputees will be complex as they will have to learn to overcome the loss of their knee joint.

Most above knee amputees will receive a prosthesis, which is an artificial limb to replace the missing leg. Walking with an above knee prosthesis requires a vast amount of energy; therefore some people may require a walking aid to mobilise.

Physiotherapists will develop a graduated treatment program to help you mobilise with or without a prosthesis starting with rolling and progressing to walking and functional activities as you improve.


Above Knee Amputation Surgery



Above-knee amputations tend be performed in three areas of the thigh bone (femur) including:
  • the bottom of the thigh bone (distal femur)
  • middle of the thigh bone (middle femur)
  • just below the hip (proximal femur)
The surgeon will aim to remove as little as possible from femur, as the longer the femur is, the easier it will be to fit and adapt to the prosthesis.

During surgery the surgeon will divide the muscles and use these to shape the stump. The surgeon will place the nerves in healthy soft tissue away from the scar of the new stump to reduce pain during recovery. During the operation, drains may be inserted into the stump for up to three days following your operation.


Physiotherapy for Above Knee Amputation



Physiotherapy following your above knee amputation will assist you in regaining independence with everyday activities and overcoming obstacles that you may face whilst adapting to life with or without a prosthesis.

Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop realistic goals based on your needs and abilities Physiotherapy starts soon after your operation and continues throughout your recovery to help you reach your goals and your maximum functional potential.

Whether you choose life with or without a prosthesis you will require physiotherapy input.

Above Knee Prosthesis



Above knee prosthesis is an artificial limb to replace the lost leg. Most amputees will receive a prosthesis, which is made up of five basic components and include:
  • Socket
  • Knee Systems
  • Suspension System
  • Shank
  • Foot and Ankle System
These components can be altered and changed to meet your needs. The prosthetist who casts and moulds the prosthesis will take into consideration your preference and capabilities when designing your prosthesis.


Summary



An above knee amputation is removal of the leg from above the knee. The surgeon will chose at what level to amputate your leg, taking into consideration fitting for prosthesis. Physiotherapy following your surgery will teach you new skills to help you adjust to life with your amputated leg with or without a prosthesis.

For more information on physiotherapy for an above knee amputation, or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800. You can also book an appointment online today!


Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
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