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After Leg Amputation: Keeping Your Other Leg Healthy

Healthcare provider examining woman's foot.
Your healthcare provider can help keep your leg and foot healthy.

Caring for your other leg is as important as caring for your residual limb. The skin or circulation problem that may have led to the amputation could develop in your other leg, too.

Skin care

  • Clean and check your skin every day, just as you do the skin on your residual limb.

  • Use a mirror to check your foot for cracks and sores.

  • If you aren’t able to inspect your foot with the use of a mirror, ask a friend or family member to check for you. They should make sure you don’t have any areas of concern, such as blisters, cuts, or open sores.

Foot care

  • Wear a firm shoe with a low heel and a closed toe to prevent cuts and infections. Never walk barefoot.

  • Trim your toenails often so they don’t become ingrown. Cut straight across the nail. Your healthcare provider or physical therapist may recommend having this done by a foot doctor (podiatrist).

  • Wash your feet daily with mild soap and warm water. Be sure to test the water with your hands and not your feet to make sure the water is not too hot. When finished washing your feet, pat dry and pay special attention to drying the area between your toes.

For more information

See the following Rehabilitation After Lower Limb Amputation workbook, developed by VA and DoD.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 4/1/2020
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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