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Rehabilitation without a Prostheses for a Below Knee Amputation

Some people might struggle to benefit from walking with a prosthesis as it requires a great deal of energy and may put added stress on a person’s health. A person with a below knee amputation without a prosthesis will still benefit from physiotherapy treatment. Physiotherapy is vital in order to improve function and balance and to allow people to carry out day to day activities without the use of their leg.

Transverse friction massage to the achielles tendon by a physiotherapistAbove: Transverse friction massage to the achielles tendon by a physiotherapist

Benefits of Physiotherapy following a Below Knee Amputation

Physiotherapy plays a key role in the rehabilitation and will be focused on:
  • Balance training
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Gait re-education
  • Teaching skills to manage functional activities more independently
  • Increasing physical fitness levels
  • Teaching skills to manage everyday obstacles such as stairs, getting in and out of cars etc.

Stages of Rehabilitation

The stages of rehabilitation will be tailored to your individual needs and symptoms to ensure you make significant functional improvements.

At your physiotherapist will monitor your movement, strength and balance once you are discharged from hospital to ensure you continue to make improvements in the long term.

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)

You will be visited by a physiotherapist in hospital who will:
  • Carry out a respiratory assessment after being under anaesthetic, giving advice on breathing techniques and assisting in chest clearance if necessary.
  • Start exercises to help prevent the joints from becoming stiff in bed, whilst promoting healing and increasing your overall body strength.
  • Teaching transfers such as getting in and out of bed, into chairs/wheelchairs etc. This will increase your independence whilst still in hospital as well as learning key skills to use once you are discharged home.
  • Carry out an assessment on suitable walking aids.
  • Provide advice on stump care and education on pain relief, phantom limb pain and phantom sensation.

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

Adjusting to life without a leg can be an emotional time. Living without your leg can be eased with professional help. A physiotherapist will work on your balance, function and will focus on activities of daily living to help promote independence.

Your physiotherapist at can assist with:
  • Balance and co-ordination techniques to refine motor skills.
  • Learning how to complete everyday transfers in and out of bed, using stairs and getting up from the floor etc.
  • A strengthening program which will assist you in carrying out your day to day activities.
  • Wheelchair skills and practice with walking aids.


The physiotherapist is essential in all stages of rehabilitation. At we can provide advice and treatment for phantom sensation, improve function in everyday activities and aim to promote as much independence as possible. At we can set goal and treatment plans tailored to meet your needs. Losing a leg is devastating and with professional help can ease that loss.

To arrange an assessment please call on 0330 088 7800 Or alternatively, book an appointment online today!

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