Following a lower limb amputation, the day-to-day issues you will confront are postoperative pain, wound healing, swelling of the residual limb (also known as edema), stiffness, and loss of motion in the residual limb. You may experience pain for a variety of reasons, including pain in the residual limb from the surgery itself. Pain can also be caused by a nerve being trapped in scar tissue at the surgical site (this is often called a neuroma). Phantom pain is felt where the severed part of the limb used to be.

The management of pain during the early post-surgical period typically involves the use of narcotic medications, such as oxycodone or morphine, which are taken at regular intervals. They may also be prescribed on a per required need (PRN) basis for breakthrough pain. Sometimes the surgeon or pain management physician will prescribe a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump for several days post-surgery.

It is important to let your doctor, nurse, and therapist know if the medication prescribed is not adequately controlling your pain. Inadequately controlled pain can prevent you from fully participating in your therapy program. Ideally, you should ask for pain medication approximately 30 minutes before the start of your physical therapy sessions.