How to Return to the Kitchen after Amputation

Posted on: September 16th, 2016 by JPO Blogger

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At Jonesboro Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory, we’re all about helping you return to the activities you love—and that includes cooking! Getting back into the kitchen may require some adjustment on your behalf, but you can get there. Here are few tips and tricks to help you return to the kitchen after an amputation

It may take a while to build up the strength you need to be effective in the kitchen.

If you are a lower-extremity amputee, it may take a while for you to build up the strength to stand at the counter for a long period of time. If you are an upper-extremity amputee, you may need to develop a different set of muscles in order to effectively manipulate kitchen tools with your prosthesis. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right away. Everyone has to work at learning how to effectively use their prosthesis in the beginning.

You will need to adjust what motions you use to chop up your food.

Even with a functional myoelectric hand, daily activities such as chopping food requires a different set of motions. In this case, the way in which you angle the knife impacts how effective you are at chopping. We suggest you hold it so that the blade is perpendicular to the cutting board. Pick up the knife’s handle with one hand and manipulate the angle by grasping the tip with your other hand. Use both hands to lift the knife up and down to chop your food.

Over prepare your prep work.

For this to work, you need to chop your ingredients in a certain order. Start with the driest ones, such as spices, then move on to drier vegetables such as squash. Gradually work your way up to the wettest vegetables such as tomatoes and grapefruit. Don’t chop up the meat until the very end, as that can contaminate the other ingredients.

With practice and determination, you’ll be back to your chef status in no time. Jonesboro Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory has worked with many amputees to help them re-discover their passions. Call us today to set up an appointment, and find out how you can get back in the kitchen!

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