How to bandage your stump

Tom Williams /

  • Use clean bandages every day.
  • Sit on the edge of a firm bed or chair. As you wrap, keep your knee extended on a stump board or chair of the same height.
  • Always wrap in a diagonal direction. Wrapping straight across the limb can cut off the blood supply.
  • Make sure there are at least 2 layers of bandage and that no layer directly overlaps another. Keep the bandage free of wrinkles and creases.
  • Check to make sure that all the skin below the knee is covered. Don’t cover the kneecap.
  • Rewrap the limb every 4 to 6 hours, or if the bandage starts to slip or feel loose.
  • Tingling or throbbing anywhere in the limb may be a sign that the bandage is too tight. Rewrap the bandage to make it less tight.
  • The bandage should be tightest, but comfortable, at the end of the limb and feel secure with less tension as you go up the limb.

Step 1

  • Hold the bandage in 1 hand with the roll facing up and toward you.
  • With the other hand, hold the end of the bandage against the front of the limb, just below the knee.
  • Slowly unroll the bandage across the front of the lower leg to the inside corner of the limb.

Step 2

  • Wrap the bandage over the inside corner of the limb. Give it a slight pull so that it stays firmly against the skin.
  • Bring the bandage around the back of the limb to the outside of the lower leg.
  • Wrap diagonally up the lower leg toward the knee. Cross over the end of the bandage to hold it in place.

Step 3

  • Go around the back of the lower leg and bring the bandage to the front on the outside, just below the knee.
  • Wrap diagonally down the front of the lower leg to the inside of the limb.

Step 4

  • Bring the bandage around the back of the limb and forward over the outside corner. Give the bandage another gentle pull to keep it firmly against the skin.
  • Wrap diagonally up the front of the lower leg.

Step 5

  • Go around to the back of the limb and come to the front again below the knee.
  • Wrap diagonally down the front of the lower leg toward the inside corner of the limb.
  • Repeat steps 2 through 4, making the figure of eight patterns, until all the skin below the knee is totally covered.

Step 6

  • Start the second bandage on the other side to the first bandage and follow steps 1 through 5.

Step 7

  • To keep the bandage from slipping, bring it up one side of the knee, around the back of the thigh, and down the other side of the knee. Do not bandage over the knee.
  • Then wrap diagonally down and around the lower leg to the end of the bandage.
  • Attach the end of the bandage to the layer below it with paper tape. Don’t use safety pins or clips.

Above-knee bandaging method