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Amputation

Elderly mother to have left leg amputation

03/09/2009

Question:

My 83 year old mother has COPD and has had 2 operations to correct poor circulation to her left leg. She is facing a possible amputation. What kind of recouperation period and level of mobility can we expect for her? Could she return home with support? What is the best way her kids can support her? Thank you

Answer:

It depends what her other health issues are and her pre-op level of functioning. If she is relatively healthy and was ambulatory, then chances are good that she may return home after rehab and obtaining a prosthetic leg (6-8 weeks after surgery for the leg). Others may not have the strength to be able to rehab and may be more wheelchair bound. It is important to get her to an excellent rehab facility.

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Response by:

Jean  E Starr, MD Jean E Starr, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Vascular Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University