April is Limb Loss Awareness Month
Two million people across the United States live with limb loss and over 500 amputations take place every single day. The Amputee Coalition announced that April is Limb Loss Awareness Month-the coalitions initiative to increase awareness about those living with limb loss and limb loss prevention.
The Coalition initiated Limb Loss Awareness Month in 2011, when it requested proclamations asking for federal and state recognition of Limb Loss Awareness Month to be held annually in April. In 2012, President Barack Obama sent a letter to acknowledge his support of this initiative. Forty-two states and counting have established April as Limb Loss Awareness Month.
Most everyone knows someone who has lost a limb due to an injury or a disease. In April, we are given a chance to not only celebrate those who have overcome obstacles by losing a limb, but also the advancement of technology that helps patients recover faster, returning to the lives they once loved.
Prosthetics have been found in history dating back all the way to ancient Egypt. In this day and age technology, through 3D printing, is helping to pave the way for an easier transition when limb loss occurs. Often giving patients the activities back they thought may have been lost when injury occurred.
The Amputee Coalition often puts on local events to raise awareness in April. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic they have shifted to virtual webinar events for those to attend to continue to raise awareness on this important topic.
Since April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (LLAM), we want to spend time this month raising awareness about what it is like to live with limb loss and limb difference, for individuals and families. The Coalition plans on providing ways to educate and connect communities, empower individuals and families living with limb loss and limb different to be a voice, and further the mission of the Amputee Coalition.
The Coalition will be adding new tools and resources to their Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month webpage. The website can be found at www.amputee-coalition.org. Some of the in-person community events and activities that would normally be promoted in April are being altered as a result to our country’s precautions against COVID-19. The Coalition hopes to utilize resources creatively, and hope others will as well. Celebrating Limb Loss Awareness month by using social media hashtags like #LLAM and #LimbLossAwarenessMonth can still get the community engaged in a positive and safe way while connecting with others.
The Coalition is also asking to engage with them on social media, following their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay connect to online webinar events.
Let’s take a look how Indianapolis Rehab Hospital can assist in your recovery from an amputation.
Indianapolis Rehab Hospital Amputation Services
Indianapolis Rehabilitation Hospital offers patients and their families an exception option for amputation rehabilitation care in our beautiful, and comfortable state-of-the-art hospital.
In order to meet the unique needs of patients recovering from the amputation of a limb, we have specifically trained staff to manage the physical and emotional needs of each patient. Our therapists are continuously trained in the latest advances and use of various methods and devices to achieve a functional residual limb.
We use specialized services and therapists to support patient recovery and to educate patients and families
Patient and family education on limb loss
Supportive counseling to assist in the emotional impact of a limb loss
Connections to support groups for limb loss
But what can you expect leading up to your surgery?
Before surgery your physical therapist and treatment team may prescribe exercises for preoperative conditioning, to improve the strength and flexibility of the hip and knee. You may also learn to use a walker or crutches so therapy time can be spent on rehabbing your injury, I
Immediately after surgery your wound will be bandaged, and you may also have a drain at the surgery site - a tube that is inserted into the area to help remove excess fluid. Pain will be managed with medication.
After a few days of recovery it is time to begin your journey back with physical therapy. A physical therapist will review your medical and surgical history. Your first few days of treatment may include:
Gentle stretching and range-of-motion exercises
Learning to roll in bed sit on the side of the bed, and move safely to a chair
Learning how to position your surgical limb to prevent contractors (the inability to straighten the knee at the join fully, which results from keeping the limb bent too often)
Rehabilitation will continue with a team of physical therapists and occupational therapists until the patient is deemed fit to return home.
If you or a loved one is currently dealing with the stress of an upcoming amputation, please feel free to reach out to us at Indianapolis Rehab Hospital to learn more about what we can offer in your recovery.