We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Care for an Amputation Stump?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Since there are different types of amputations, the exact care instructions you’ll follow will depend on which body part was amputated. Following your amputation surgery, your surgeon, nurses, and other health care professionals will teach you how to properly care for your particular amputation stump. Even so, there are certain amputation aftercare instructions that apply across the board. These include instructions regarding dressings and bandages, cleaning the stump, and developing proper skin care and hygiene practices. Depending on the situation, you might also be instructed on how to help prep your stump for an amputation prosthesis.

Generally, there are two kinds of dressings for an amputation stump. The first is a typical wound dressing to protect the incision area. The second dressing, usually applied on top of the first, is to keep the swelling to a minimum and prepare the stump for an amputation prosthesis. The exact method for applying these bandages, and how much skin on your remaining limb they should cover, depends on your specific amputation. General rules include keeping the limb straight while bandaging, making sure the bandages aren’t too tight or too loose, and rebandaging the amputation stump as many times per day as ordered by your doctor.

Depending on the situation, your doctor might recommend you wear a sock-like bandage called a shrinker. This bandage is designed to fit over your amputation stump like a sock would fit over your foot. Although shrinkers aren’t always as effective as regular bandages, they’re generally easier to use. When wearing a shrinker, you must make sure to keep the top of the fabric from rolling, as this can decrease the blood circulation to your stump. Consult your doctor immediately if the shrinker begins to feel too loose or too tight.

Your doctor will instruct you on how long you must wait after an amputation before you can start washing your stump, but usually patients start this process once the stump has healed. Wash the amputation stump at least once a day with warm water and mild soap. During baths, avoid soaking the stump because this can cause the skin to soften and increase your changes of injuries. Refrain from using any product with harsh chemicals, as they can cause drying and prevent your skin from replacing its natural oils. Simple, unmedicated talc powders can help absorb perspiration and keep the stump dry.

As the years pass, it’s just as important to practice good skin care and hygiene habits as you did immediately following the amputation surgery. The skin on and near your amputation stump isn’t as tough and resilient as the skin on other parts of your body, and it’s more susceptible to irritation, injury, and infection. This is especially true for stumps that bear the continual stresses of wearing an amputation prosthesis. Many health and medical supply stores cater to skin care products specifically for different types of amputations. Treat any abrasions or irritation as your doctor directs, but be sure to contact your doctor if they don’t improve within a reasonable time.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.