Amputation, amputation level and prosthesis – we’ll get you started!
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  • Amputation | © Pohlig GmbH
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    Amputation

What’s next?

Treatment process after amputation

During an amputation, a body part is surgically removed. This may be necessary due to an accident or due to pre-existing medical conditions.

After having an amputation, many patients are left with the question: "What happens now?" How your life will look like in the future depends largerly on you, your stamina and your motivation.

When possible, it is best for your doctor to contact us before your amputation. This way, we can discuss with him specific considerations for the operation so that your residual limb is optimized for prosthesis wear.

Immediately after the operation, the healing of your residual limb is of top priority. Good recovery is the prerequisite for subsequent rehabilitation and prosthesis treatment. Swelling in the residual limb is normal in the beginning and usually decreases after some time.

Amputation | © Pohlig GmbH

The treatment process after amputation can take up to three quarters of a year. Once your residual limb has healed, we will fit you with your prosthesis. This can be done on site in the hospital or at a POHLIG Location one you have been discharged from the hospital. First, we will discuss the various options available and then decide together which prosthesis is best for you.

The choice of prosthesis depends on different factors. The amputation level, your health condition, your physical fitness, your home environment and your professional requirements are all taken into consideration.

Once your prosthesis has been completed, a process which can take several trial appointments, our physiotherapists will help you to learn how to use your prosthesis in your everyday life.

Since the prosthesis needs to be adjusted regularly due to weight gain, weight loss or growth-related reasons, we will be with you – if you wish for a lifetime – and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your prosthesis.

Prostheses for finger, hand and arm

After a finger, hand or arm amputation, a prosthesis can replace the most important basic functions of the missing limb (e.g. opening and closing of the hand) and restore the external appearance. 

Icon Knieexprothese | © Pohlig GmbH
Foot, leg and hip prostheses

Foot, leg and hip prostheses can significantly restore your mobility. Immediately after amputation, it makes sense to talk to your orthopedic technician, who will explain the process of prosthesis treatment.

What level is the amputation at?

Upper extermity amputation 

The amputation level describes the location where a part of your body was amputated. It is determined by the physician before the operation. Among many other factors, the amputation level determines the type of prosthesis you will get. This is because, depending on the respective level, more or less body parts and joints must be replaced by the prosthesis.

If the procedure is planned, your orthopedic technician can be involved in the pre-operative discussion. Together with you and your doctor, he can clarify which amputation level is most suitable for the subsequent prosthesis treatment in your specific case.

Here is an overview of the different amputation levels of the upper extremities:

Finger:

  • Amputation and congenital deformity of the long fingers up to and including the joint line of the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP)
  • Amputation and congenital deformity of the long fingers up to and including the joint line of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP)
  • Amputation and congenital deformity of the long fingers up to and including the joint line of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP)
  • Amputation and congenital deformity of the thumb up to and including the joint line of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP)

Hand:

Amputations of the hand can be divided into longitudinal and transverse amputations. In a longitudinal amputation, the specific fingers, metacarpals and carpal bones are simultaneously removed. In a transversal amputation, the amputation is performed horizontally.

  • Transcarpal amputation
  • Longitudinal amputation
  • Wrist disarticulation (entire hand amputated at wrist)

Arm:

  • Forearm amputation (long, medium, short, ultra-short)
  • Elbow disarticulation
  • Upper arm amputation (long, medium, short, ultra-short)

Shoulder:

  • Shoulder disarticulation
  • Shoulder girdle amputation
  • Forequarter amputation (amputation of the arm, scapula, and clavicle)