How to clean your residual limb Being a new amputee now requires you to take…
Allied health multidisciplinary teams are important to ensure that you are provided with a holistic treatment plan. APC are proud to participate and present training days and seminars to educate our allied health peers.
If you are an amputee, you will have likely received physiotherapy during the rehabilitation stages as a part of your hospital stay. However, physiotherapy should not be seen as a service only accessed in the early years. It is important as an amputee or someone with limb difference to maintain good muscle strength, flexibility, and stability. This will ensure that your ability to use your prosthesis continues well into your later years. Working regularly with a physio throughout your life as a prosthetic user can act as a reminder to engage the muscles you may not be using as much as you should be, or to help you kick some bad gait habits you may have developed.
Physiotherapy is currently available onsite at APC ‘s Alexandria and Northmead offices to assist amputees in varying stages of their prosthetic usage:
Physiotherapy at APC Prosthetics is provided by Cathy Howells, a registered physiotherapist with a special interest in amputee rehabilitation and over 30 years’ experience working exclusively with amputees. All our sites can help put you in touch with physiotherapists in your area who have experience working with prosthetic limb users.
Exercise Physiologists (EPs) sometimes get mixed up with physiotherapists. Where physios often manipulate the tissue, using an active hands-on method with massage along with prescribing targeted movements to improve a problem area, EPs offer ‘hands-off’ programs. Exercise physiologists are great for amputees and prosthetic users for prevention, ongoing targeted training, or if you have a sport or recreational activity you would like to learn to get back to or start doing since being an amputee. EPs develop person-centred exercise interventions that can be targeted for pain management, disability, chronic conditions, and injury. Feedback from our clients who use the services of EPs report that they move and walk better than they ever have before. Some have said that through the exercise interventions prescribed by their EP, they need to use less energy to walk and that has meant that it is easier to use their prosthesis and access the community (AKA live their life!).
Occupational Therapists (OTs) can help you learn how to use your prosthesis (especially Upper Limb) for specific tasks and training, along with recommending any modifications that need to be made to your home or car.
You may need a consultation with a trained OT in the process of getting your license for the first time after amputation.
OTs are essential in the process of applying for funding for upper extremity (UX) prosthetics. An OT will need to be present in your NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Assistive Technology (AT) Assessment alongside your prosthetist. They will aid in performing and interpreting clinical outcome measures (COMs) which are functional tests demonstrating levels of ability and need.
The team at APC Prosthetics work closely with your rehabilitation specialist to ensure you receive the best treatment outcomes based on your health, healing and any other medical conditions that may affect your prosthetic use. Due to the long history of APC attending many amputee clinics for over 20 years, we have solid communication and a multidisciplinary team approach that leads to the quality service you will receive. We regularly consult with your other specialists as needed, for example, dermatologists, who can assist you with any skin conditions or concerns. If you see a new specialist or receive a new medication, it is a good idea to inform your Prosthetist as treatments may affect the fit or outcome of your prosthesis.
Funding for Allied Health Support Services
How you access a physiotherapist and other allied health services depends on your funding.
Mental Health Support Services
Losing a limb can be a very emotional experience for you and those in your support group including friends or family. It is important you and those around you speak about how you are feeling with the appropriate support groups and services. Speak to your GP about how you can access the right mental health support for you.
There are also support services available through state and national amputee support groups.
Other Support Services:
Your prosthetist can help put you in touch with peer support groups that are run both on a state and national level. You will also find brochures in every APC branch or you can read our resource on Amputee/Limb Difference support groups here.
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