Hesperian Health Guides
Care of the Amputated Limb
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The goals in caring for the stump are to maintain a good shape and good position for fitting an artificial limb. This means taking active steps to:
- avoid swelling,
- keep the full range of motion (prevent contractures), and
- maintain strength.
|WITHOUT WRAPPING||WITH WRAPPING|
|BAD SHAPE||GOOD SHAPE|
WRAPPING THE STUMP
To prevent swelling and keep a good shape for fitting an artificial
limb, it is important to wrap the newly amputated limb for a long
time after it has been cut off.
The leg should be wrapped in a way that squeezes the liquid in the leg upward (rather than trapping it at the end). Use an elastic bandage in this manner:
ELEVATING THE STUMP
In addition to being wrapped, a newly amputated limb should be kept lifted high up most of the time. Avoid spending a lot of time with the arm or leg hanging down.