Getting Moving! Amputation Recovery & Prosthetic Fitting

Learn more about the mobilization phase of your amputation recovery and what to expect during your first prosthetic fitting.

Recovering from limb loss takes time. Broadly speaking, your amputation recovery can be divided into three phases – wound healing, mobilization and reintegration.  

While there is no set time or guide for each phase, there are some general timeframes and guidelines that may be helpful for you to understand as you navigate first year living with limb loss.  

Read on to learn more about the mobilization phase. 

Get moving 

Put simply, the mobilization phase involves getting moving again! In fact, it has been proved that, in general, the earlier you can get moving, the faster your recovery. 

As soon as your surgeon feels you’re ready, a physiotherapist will help you get moving with special exercises. It’s important to keep up your exercises to heal your body and prepare it for wearing a prosthetic leg. 

During the mobilization phase, your residual limb is probably still being shaped by your prosthetist. This involves applying post-operative silicone liners or compression bandages.  

Your prosthetic leg fitting 

Your prosthetist becomes a central figure in your recovery and reintegration into daily life once your wound has healed and you’re ready to be fitted with your new prosthetic leg. In fact, your prosthetist will play an important part in helping you keep mobile for the rest of your life. So make sure you take the time to find someone who you feel really comfortable with and can build up a strong and trusting relationship with over time. 

To fit your new prosthetic leg, your prosthetist will take the following steps:  

Fitting your test socket 

A diagnostic or test socket will be created. A test fitting might be completed in one visit or it could take multiple visits to make sure your test socket fits comfortably. 

Choosing components 

You and your prosthetist will discuss the prosthetic components that fit your physical capabilities and lifestyle. 

Creating your prosthetic leg 

Your test socket will be manufactured, assembled and aligned to your other prosthetic components, resulting in your fits prosthesis. 

It’s got to be perfect 

Adjustments to this prosthesis may be required during the first month or two that you wear it. 

Developing good habits 

After you are fitted with your first prosthesis, you will usually see a physical therapist regularly. This is to ensure that you develop good habits while you relearn how to walk using a prosthetic leg. 

Again, there are no set timeframes or guidelines for each phase of your recovery. We hope you have a better idea of what to expect as you get moving again. Most importantly, tune into to your body, take your time and use the support around you so you can enjoy your new life with a prosthetic leg.