Amputation is defined as removal of part of any or part of a limb or appendage of the body. The residual part of the limb that remains after the procedure is often called a stump. Your orthopaedic surgeon will retain the knee joint and save as much of the lower limb as possible and maintain the best measurement of stump length for optimal prosthetic fit and circulation.
Regardless of the type of amputation you're scheduled for, the process is similar. You'll undergo a myriad of diagnostic tests and studies to determine the need and location of the amputation, as well as the surgical approach. Prior to the amputation procedure, you'll be placed under general anesthesia during the surgical procedure so you'll be asleep. Then:
Your doctor may suggest that an artificial limb or prosthesis be fitted to your stump as soon as possible to aid in the recovery process. You can expect to stay in the hospital for 2 to 7 days following the amputation, depending on what part of your limb was operated on. You can expect an approximately six-week recovery period following an above-the knee or below-the-knee or foot amputation, shorter for a toe amputation in most cases. You will undergo physical rehabilitation to help with gait training and to aid in your adaption of any prosthetic device for greater independence and mobility.