Whenever possible, Michigan Vascular will meet with patients and their family members prior to amputation surgery to address questions and concerns and to help set expectations in preparation for the physical and emotional loss of a limb. We offer our expertise and compassion starting with our initial meeting and throughout the entire rehabilitation journey. We provide services to patients facing all levels of amputation, including: partial foot, ankle disarticulation, below knee (Ertl), through knee (Mazet), above knee, and hip disarticulation.
We are available to work directly with the patient’s surgeon to plan the best possible amputation procedure. When options are available, we can guide patients through their specific options so that they may make on informed decision. However, every patient’s circumstances are unique and at times, there may not be multiple options for amputation level or technique.
Following amputation, patients should expect to receive postoperative education specific to the healing and recovery of their residual limb. Some of the postoperative services that we offer include compression management, peer visitation, and training on residual limb protection and fall prevention. We work alongside wound care and therapy team members throughout the rehabilitation process.
PROSTHETIC EVALUATION & FITTING
The prosthetic care process begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient, taking into consideration medical history, residual limb health, rehabilitation progress, and mobility-related goals. Thoughtful evaluation is required to design a custom prosthesis that will best aid the patient in reaching their goals and facilitating their lifestyle. The next step is fitting, an iterative process to achieve comfort, function, and mobility in the prosthesis.
A prosthesis needs to enable the patient to regain mobility and resume everyday activities. For most amputees, this requires the ability to walk, or ambulate. Building strong ambulation skills requires motivation, practice, and expert gait training, typically provided in conjunction with a therapy program. As patients progress in their ability to ambulate (at increased speeds, over obstacles, across challenging terrain), adjustments to the prosthesis will become necessary in order to maintain comfort, function, and mobility. This development process requires adherence to the recommended training program and follow-up schedule.