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The journey

From surgery to recovery


When you undergo amputation surgery, you are profoundly challenged at every level of your being – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The indisputable fact is that your limb is permanently gone. How you respond to that reality depends on whether or not you give in to despair, and will determine whether you grow as a human being and heighten your appreciation of living.

Challenges and goals

The challenges you face are obvious, but the opportunities to grow in the face of adversity are just as dramatic. We hope that the information posted here on this site will answer some factual and practical questions about limb loss, but also inspired you to find positive meaning in your experience.

The real challenges that accompany the loss of your limb cannot be made to disappear, but, through rehabilitation, their negative effects can be minimised. The word “rehabilitate” means “restore”. After surgery, your rehabilitation goal should be to restore your body, mind and spirit.

AK or TF

Depending on the cause, amputations are carried out at different levels on the limb. The “level” or “site” of amputation refers to the location of the amputation of the affected limb. The amputation level is important as it partly determines the residual limb’s functional ability, strength and mobility. For instance, if your leg was amputated between the knee and the hip, you may be referred to as a person with an above-knee (AK) amputation, or alternatively a transfemoral (TF) amputation. When two limbs are amputated, a person is said to be a bilateral amputee.