Hesperian Health Guides

Care of the Amputated Limb

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HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 27: Amputations > Care of the Amputated Limb


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:

  1. avoid swelling,
  2. keep the full range of motion (prevent contractures), and
  3. maintain strength.
WITHOUT WRAPPING WITH WRAPPING
A leg that has been amupated below the knee that has not been wrapped resulting in bad shape
DVC Ch27 Page 228-2.png
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:


Below knee

How to wrap below the knee stump with bandage starting from above the knee to below the stump.
Wrapping below the knee stump with bandage coming up from below stump.
Wrapping below the knee stump with bandage coming from below stump
Wrapping below the knee stump with bandages crossing over from below stump.
Wrapping below the knee stump with bandage wrapping from the back.
Wrapping below the knee stump with bandages.
Wrapping below the knee stump with bandages crossing diagonally.
The stump of the leg is being wrapped diagnally with elastic bandage
The elastic bandage is being wrapped around stump
The elastic bandage is being held in place by pins
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Above knee

Elastic bandage being wrappped on leg ampuated above the knee
Elastic bandage being wrapped upward from stump vertically
elastic bandage being wrapped around stump
Elastic bandage being wrapped diagnally downward around stump
1 2 3 4
Elastic bandage being wrapped diagnally upward around the stump
elastic bandage being wrapped all the way up to the top of the leg
A child with contactures on limb that is amputated below the knee
Wrapping above the knee stump with bandages that start from the hips.
Wrapped above the knee stump with bandages that cross the hips and cover the affected leg.
5 6 7 8 9

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.

Boy sitting in inclined chair reading, with stump lifted onto cushion on table.
RIGHT
Boy sitting on chair, bending forward onto table with book, with below the knee stump hanging down.
WRONG



This page was updated:19 Jan 2018