Doing regular exercise is a great way to stay healthy after an amputation surgery.
Skin, nerves and blood vessels can be particularly sensitive after any surgery. Amputation surgeries can also result in skeletal injuries, so it is important to use particular precaution to keep your bones working in top condition. Here are some of the best tips.
Let air circulate around pin sites
Many amputations will require pins to the remaining bones. However, to prompt faster healing, many pin sites are left open to the air, unless they need to have drainage (in this case, they may be connected to a tube or covered with gauze). This can expose the pin to the elements, including outside bacteria. Do not cover the site – keep it exposed whenever possible, and contact your clinician if you notice the skin changing color or becoming inflamed, red or increasingly tender to the touch.
To maintain a healthier pin site, be sure to swab it regularly to keep it as sanitary as possible. Here are some best practices, adapted from the Amputee Coalition:
Mix a sanitary solution of saline solution and hydrogen peroxide.
Place a cotton swab in the solution.
Start the swab at the insertion site of the pin, moving outward in circular motions.
If you miss a spot closer to the insertion spot, grab a new swab to avoid infecting the inner tissue.
As you are cleaning the pin site, be sure to gently push the skin surrounding the pin away from the pin. This will help the skin from sticking to the pin as it heals, which could cause pain and further problems.
One of the best ways to avoid skeletal injuries post-amputation surgery is to maintain your wellness. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water regularly for 20 seconds or more – a good way to time this is to sing the “Happy birthday to you” song two times, which takes an average of 20 seconds to recite. If you are away from home, pack a small container of hand sanitizer to use when running hot water is not available.
It’s also important to maintain a diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly those that help to keep bones strong! Look for foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for the health of your bones. Here are a few:
bok choy parsley
No matter what type of amputation surgery you have, these tips should help your recovery period stay smooth and comfortable.
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