For clients that just had an amputation, we offer a service called IPOP, or Immediate Post-Operative Prosthesis.
This procedure consists of fitting the client with a temporary cast or rigid dressing immediately after the amputation. If applied to the right client, IPOP promotes accelerated recovery, controlled swelling and reduced pain.
Clients who undergo IPOP can also often experience an early use of a definitive prosthesis as they begin right away to develop a tolerance to weight bearing. Usually, clients who choose to have IPOP can walk faster than clients who didn’t undergo the procedure.
The IPOP is fitted at the hospital by our Certified Prosthetist and requires the surgeon’s permission.
“My left ankle and foot was severely crushed at 22 months. I went through 50+ surgeries until I was 14 years old. In 2002 my foot was regularly seizing up and I was experiencing pain regularly. It was then that I started looking at my options-one being an amputation.
I researched all that that would entail and I watched a video and read testimonies of the IPOP procedure. The emotional aspect of the IPOP was huge. My children had just lost their father to cancer and now were faced with another trauma in their young lives, being that this was an elective surgery and I was “choosing to cut off my leg”.
In my mind, it would be far gentler for them to see a leg and foot rather than a “stump” after the surgery. That certainly was the case and if I was to do it again I would definitely go the IPOP route.
The other wonderful benefit for me was the fact that it gave me balance straight away; it was certainly less traumatic emotionally as the “grief” of loss of limb wasn’t so overwhelming. I felt that although I wasn’t weight bearing in the leg it felt so good still having “two” legs. I have never fallen on my limb and especially early post surgery, when other amputees were falling due to forgetting they had lost a limb, I never “forgot”. “
M. M.; Trans-tibial amputee since 2004.