Amputation may mean the loss of a part of your foot or some of your toes. However, it doesn’t mean that you lose the ability to live your life to the fullest. All it takes is considering its impact on your life, submitting to full recovery and rehabilitation, and relying on prosthetics to assist you in your life. For all you know, you can quickly bounce back to living your life soon after the surgery.
Here’s a guide to understanding what you can expect as a new partial-foot or toe amputee.
If you are a partial-foot amputee, below are some of the things to expect:
Amputation Considerations: The initial process is your surgeon determining how much of your foot should be removed. The process includes how much of the bone can still be preserved while still providing a cushion for prosthetics. Also, how the remaining muscle, skin, and nerves affect the quality of life and how balance and gait can be preserved when walking. Ultimately, this will result in better balance or more comfortable prosthetic options after the surgery.
Recovery and Rehabilitation: After the surgery, the recovery process and rehabilitation will be set in place. First, you will have regular appointments with your doctor to change the dressings and monitor your healing progress. Second, you will be given medications for the pain and to fight infection. Once the wound has healed, the rehabilitation program will start.
In other words, rehab is designed to help you adjust to a prosthesis and learn how to get around when not wearing one. First, you will start with a temporary prosthesis, before using a permanent prosthetic when the residual limb heals (usually within six months to a year). Second, you’ll have to push forward to walk without support. Before you know it, you will be able to resume normal daily activities such as walking, driving, and wearing conventional shoes with your prosthetic.
Partial-Foot Prosthetics and Shoes: When it comes to partial-foot prosthetics and shoes, they are usually custom-made. The goal is to fit your residual foot and provide you with the support lost from amputation.
One, you need shoe inserts or custom shoes. A partial-foot insert is a rigid footplate for a standard shoe with raised areas to fill in space where your amputation occurred. Custom shoes are made to provide the same function and additional support for your balance and motion. Second, you need custom-moulded foot prosthesis. This has been designed to replace the missing area of your foot. These prostheses include contoured arch supports and carbon fibre keels to provide weight-bearing and natural motion.
On the other hand, if you had a toe amputation, below are some important considerations:
Toes’ Effect on Balance: Your toes provide balance and support when walking. Chances are, losing one or more toes can impact your balance. Missing any of the three middle toes can significantly affect your walking.
Recovery and Rehabilitation: After surgery, the pain will significantly improve after a week. As for the swelling, it can take about a month for it to subside. That said, you may need to wear a cast or special shoes for about two weeks. During the whole process, you need to follow your doctor’s advice related to your bandages and care of the surgery area. Soon enough, you will begin to walk again and may notice an affected sense of balance, but it will improve in due time.
Toe Prosthetics: You may be required to use toe prosthetics if your balance remains an issue after rehabilitation. When it comes to a cosmetic replacement for your toe, there are options of prostheses available in the market. It can be made as rigid as required to give you additional support and balance while walking.
We hope this has shed light on what it takes to live after a partial-foot or toe amputation. You can expect its impact on the quality of your life. However, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s advice and keep up with the recovery and rehabilitation process. You don’t have to worry about prosthetics as they are custom-made and can help you live normally.
Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!