A car crash can inflict life changing injuries. In some cases, an injury is severe enough that doctors have to amputate a limb. The loss of a hand, arm or a leg is one of the more challenging losses you may suffer. You may expect an extensive rehabilitation regimen to try to restore your quality of life.

As Johns Hopkins explains, the main goal of rehabilitation following amputation is to assist the patient to regain as much independence and body function as possible. If you undergo amputation, your recovery team will tailor a recovery plan addressing your specific physical, emotional and social needs.

Managing pain

Some amputation patients have problems with pain. It may result from the aftermath of the operation. There are also amputees who experience “phantom pain,” which occurs when someone feels the sensation of pain from the limb that no longer exists. Health care providers will focus on ways to alleviate or manage pain to bring it to an end if possible.

Artificial devices

Many amputees receive some kind of prosthetic to replace a lost limb. A rehabilitation plan will likely address issues like fitting the prosthetic to the body and how to use it. The rehab plan may also go into how to equip the home of the patient with mechanical devices and implements to aid the patient like grab bars in the bathroom and ramps in and out of the house.

Building up physical health

Rehab plans generally have strategies to help rebuild the physical strength of a patient through the use of exercise, therapies and nutritional strategies. Given that the patient has lost a limb, a rehabilitation plan may also include focusing on building strength in other limbs to compensate for the missing arm or leg.

Emotional support

People who undergo amputation often have to work through emotional distress. They may see themselves as less of a person. This is why recovery plans also include emotional support. Friends and family may receive education to help a loved one rebuild a positive body image, assisted by physical rehabilitation that helps boost the independence of the patient.