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Rehabilitation without a Prosthesis Following an Above Knee Amputation

There are many reasons not to have an above knee prosthesis. An above knee prosthesis requires a vast amount of energy to walk with, which can put too much strain on a person’s health and may not be beneficial.

If the decision is made by the individual or team of healthcare professionals that an above knee prosthesis will not meet their rehabilitation needs, physiotherapy can still help. Physiotherapy will help to maximise independence with functional activities and help people adjust to life following an amputation.

Benefits of Physiotherapy Following an Above Knee Amputation

Physiotherapy will play a key role in the rehabilitation for an amputee and will be centred on:
  • Teaching everyday transfers such as bed and toilet transfers and stairs
  • Improving muscle strength and flexibility
  • Teaching skills to mobilise with walking aids and other equipment
  • Building physical fitness and upper body strength
  • Improving independence with functional activities
  • Reaching your maximum physical potential
  • Enhancing quality of life

Stages of Rehabilitation

Stages of rehabilitation for amputees are usually dictated by the healing process and your treatment goals.

Your physiotherapist at will regularly assess your movement, strength and balance in order to monitor progress and develop treatment accordingly.

Physiotherapy input can be divided into three main stages:
  • Post Operation (0-7 days)
  • Pre-Prosthesis Rehabilitation (1 week – 6 weeks)
  • Rehabilitation with a Prosthesis (6 weeks +)

Post-operation (0 – 7 days)

Following your operation in hospital you will be seen by a physiotherapist who will:
  • Assess the respiratory system after the anaesthetic, giving advice on oxygen therapy and education on breathing exercises helping to clear their chest if required.
  • Start the rehabilitation process two-day post-operation on the ward to prevent joints from becoming stiff in bed and teach transfers to carry out more functional activities.
  • Assess and teach how to use suitable walking aids once drains have been removed.
  • Advice on stump care exercises to reduce swelling
  • Education and treatment on phantom limb sensation and/or pain.

Rehabilitation without a Prosthesis for an Above Knee Amputation (1 week +)

At this stage of your rehabilitation, your physiotherapist will work on your balance, function, and independence with activities of daily living.

Physiotherapy at may include:


Your physiotherapist will play a key role throughout your rehabilitation.

At, your physiotherapist will carry out a thorough assessment to develop a rehabilitation program to meet your needs.

Physiotherapy at will optimise your recovery and enhance your independence with mobility and daily tasks. Your physiotherapist will motivate and support you throughout your rehabilitation to maximise your potential and minimise any problems that may occur throughout the rehabilitation program.

For more information on rehabilitation without a prosthesis or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800. Or alternatively book online today!

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