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Dealing with Contractures Post-Amputation

In the unfortunate event that a person loses a limb because of a serious accident, there are many side effects that will affect their way of life. Among those is something called a contracture. This is a restriction of movement in the soft tissue surrounding the area of amputation. Because the connective tissue has changed, contractures may develop. Normally, soft tissue is elastic and malleable, but a contracture can make it stiff and fibrous. This can make it difficult for the joint to move after severe nerve damage. Amputees are not the only individuals to struggle with this type of condition, but it does severely affect their rehabilitation more so than those with other conditions.

Amputees need their joints and muscles to move if they are going to be able to function with a prosthetic on. For example, say an individual lost the lower half of their leg and developed a contracture at the knee joint of that leg. The contracture forced the knee joint to remain in a bended position. This is going to make it difficult for that individual to walk with a prosthetic. Consider how difficult it would be for anyone to walk with their knee remaining in a bended position. Contractures are difficult to treat once they form, so prevention is the preferred route. The main way to do this is by moving. It is suggested that amputees move at least five hours per day, because lying in bed for extended periods of time is how contractures develop.

For this, an occupational therapist would be extremely helpful. Depending on the nature of your accident, you may be able to retain the services of this type of therapist. Their job is to come up with creative ways to help you not only rehabilitate, but to relearn how to perform your day to day tasks and even occupational tasks as well. If you were injured on the job, then your workers' compensation may provide benefits so that you can see an occupational therapist or some other rehabilitation specialist. You deserve the best treatment after an accident, and our firm can fight to see that you get what you're entitled to.


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