It is completely normal that the tissue of your residual limb swells somewhat after your operation. This swelling (called oedema) is a normal reaction to the amputation. But to be fitted for your first prosthesis, it is important that your residual limb has a good shape. Compression therapy can help with this because it reduces the swelling of your residual limb.
What is compression therapy?
Compression therapy supports veins and increases circulation through pressure. By applying pressure to your residual limb, it reduces the swelling. This in turn helps your residual limb acquire its final shape and size. It also promotes blood circulation, reducing pain and promoting healing of the wound.
Curious about other ways to care for your residual limb after your amputation? Read all about it in the article on residual limb care.
With compression therapy using bandages, your therapist or nurse will wrap compression bandages around your residual limb. This is done using a special bandaging technique, immediately after the operation. This form of compression therapy is quite complicated, but can be adapted specifically to your situation, making this method a good choice for any residual limb and amputation level.
can also be used for compression therapy. These socks are elastic and available in a range of sizes. If necessary, they can be customised. As with the elastic compression bandages, compression socks must be washed and dried flat daily. This helps them retain their elasticity. Compression socks are easy to put on and take off. Does your sock sag? This can be prevented with a garter belt or pelvic strap.
Another form of compression therapy is to use a silicone liner. The liner applies even pressure to your residual limb, so that it acquires the right shape to wear a prosthesis. The material also helps make the skin of your scar soft and smooth.