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What is a Below Knee Amputation?



A below knee amputation is the removal of the leg below the knee. A below knee amputation is performed through the shin bone removing the foot and ankle.

The stages of below knee amputation include:

Below Knee Amputation Surgery



During a below knee amputation the tibia and fibula are cut. The tibia is the larger of the two bones that make up the lower part of the leg normally called the “shin bone”. The smaller bone is known as the fibula which is normally cut 2-3cm shorter than the tibia to avoid pressure points.

During surgery the surgeon will try to preserve as much of the bone as possible depending on the health of the tissues around the affected area. The surgeon will separate the nerves and remove them from the site of amputation and place them in healthy soft tissue, to reduce irritation from the prosthetic socket or any other unwanted sources of contact from the wound healing.

The surgeon will then try and bring some muscle over the stump to increase cushioning and support. The front of the stump may still remain quite exposed and it is often that people experience increased sensitivity or pain.


Physiotherapy Following a Below Knee Amputation



Physiotherapy following a below knee amputation plays a vital role in rehabilitation and will help you reach your maximum potential with functional activities.

Physiotherapy treatment is provided for people with or without a prosthesis.

Physiotherapy treatment starts when you are in hospital and will continue to reduce stiffness, increase muscle strength and get you back on your feet with confidence and success.

Whether you choose life with or without a prosthesis you will still benefit from physiotherapy.

Below Knee Prostheses



A below knee prosthesis is designed to carry out the function of the amputated leg. Following the operation you will be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals to ascertain if you are suitable for a below knee prosthesis. This will depend on your treatment goals, general health and fitness levels.

There are several different prostheses available for below knee amputees. The prosthetist will work with the individual to develop their artificial limb. The prosthesis will be based on the person’s preference, purpose of prosthesis, general health and pathology.

Types of prosthesis include:
  • Preparatory Prosthesis
  • Patella-Tendon Weight-Bearing Prosthesis (PTB)
  • Total-Surface Bearing Prosthesis (TSB)
  • A Joint-Corset Prosthesis

Summary



A below knee amputation is the removal of the leg below the knee. The surgeon will cut through the leg below the knee amputating the lower leg, foot and ankle.

Physiotherapy is an important part of recovery and will help you reach your maximum physical potential and adjust to your new way of life with or without a prosthesis.

For more information on below knee amputation or to book an appointment please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800. Alternatively, book an appointment online today!


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