During your follow-up visits to the rehab clinic following a lower limb amputation, you should tell your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Areas of redness, cuts, or skin irritations on the residual limb
  • Areas of pressure over bones on the residual limb
  • Falls or near falls
  • Sensations that the residual limb is moving up and down within the socket (pistoning), as opposed to moving with the socket. This is similar to walking with a pair of shoes that are too big.
  • An ill-fitting prosthesis
  • Pain in the residual limb when putting on the prosthesis or taking it off
  • Phantom pain
  • Low back pain
  • Pain in the opposite, remaining lower limb
  • A change in the distance you normally ambulate, or the type of terrain
  • Problems with respect to dressing, bathing, transferring from bed to chair, or getting in and out of a bathtub
  • Any problems with the skin on the opposite foot, such as redness, cuts, and bruises. These are typically on the ball of the foot, and may be difficult to see.
  • Any recent weight loss or weight gain

During your follow-up visits, the doctor or other members of the rehab team will typically do the following:

  • Examine the residual limb for any evidence of skin problems, such as blisters, infections, or abnormal areas of pressures on bones. The doctor may also examine the skin on your opposite, remaining limb.
  • Check the range of motion of the residual limb for the presence of a contracture.
  • Examine the strength of your arms and legs, and your ability to get up from a seated position.
  • Ask you to ambulate with the prosthesis for a short distance to see if there are any alignment or fit problems with the prosthesis. After this short period of ambulation, your skin will be checked again for any areas of abnormal pressure on the bones.