How to Maintain a Prosthesis Artificial Limb?
It is important to take care of the prosthesis and the amputation site by doing the following every day:
- You must remove the prosthesis before going to bed and examine the device for loosening or damage. Examine the stump to check for blisters or irritation.
- You must clean and put a small amount of lotion on the stump and massage the skin.
- You must place a bandage on the stump to decrease the swelling when you are not wearing the prosthesis.
- You must regularly inspect the skin of the stump to look for sores or wounds.
- You must practice the exercises recommended by your physical therapist. These will include stretching, range of motion, body positioning, and endurance.
- You must wear proper fitting shoes for leg prostheses and never change the height of your heels.
- You must clean the prosthesis’ socket with soap and water.
- You must wear clean dry socks with the prosthesis.
It is also important to maintain your body weight, which will help to fix the prosthesis properly. You should also have the prosthesis examined and serviced every year, to make sure that it is working properly.
Is it difficult to get used to a Prosthetic Leg?
Learning to get along with a prosthetic leg can be a challenge. Even after your initial rehabilitation is over, you may experience some issues that your prosthetist and rehabilitation team can help you manage. Some of the common obstacles may include:
- Excessive sweating, which will affect the fit of the prosthesis and lead to skin issues.
- Changing residual limb shape – This usually occurs in the first year after an amputation as the tissue settles into its more permanent shape, and can affect the fit of the socket.
- Weakness in the residual limb, which can make it difficult to use the prosthesis for long periods.
- Phantom limb pain could be severe enough to impact your ability to use the prosthesis.
Do you need rehabilitation after the selection of a Prosthetic Leg?
After selecting your prosthetic leg components, you will need rehabilitation to strengthen your legs, arms and cardiovascular system, as you learn to walk with your new limb. You will work closely with rehabilitation physicians and physical therapists, to develop a rehabilitation plan based on your condition. The goal is to keep your healthy leg in good shape.
Do you need to change your Artificial Prosthetic limb?
At some point, you will notice that you are not as functional as you should be with your current Prosthetic limb. It could be that you have “outwalked” your prosthesis by moving more than the prosthesis is designed for, which can cause pain and discomfort and lack of stability. These are some signs that it may be time to check with your prosthetist to re-evaluate your needs. Your prosthetist may recommend adjusting your current equipment, it is important to take the time to understand how they work. Physical therapy will help you to adjust to the new components or your new prosthetic leg.
Prosthetic limb Technology Is Evolving:
There will always be new developments in prosthetic limb technology, such as microprocessor-driven and activity-specific components.
- Microprocessor joints feature computer chips and sensors to provide a natural movement. They may even have different movements for walking on flat surfaces or walking up and down the stairs.
- There are specialized prosthetic legs for different activities, such as running, showering or swimming, which you can switch to as per your requirement. At times, your everyday prosthetic leg can be modified by your prosthetist to serve different purposes.
- Osseointegration surgery is another option and this procedure involves the insertion of a metal implant directly into the bone, so there is no need for a socket. The prosthetic leg is fixed directly to that implant. While this procedure is not right for everyone and is still under study, it provides improved range of motion.
It is important to remember that you are not alone in navigating the many different prosthetic leg options. Your health care team will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and decide on the ideal prosthetic leg that matches your lifestyle.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
What is an artificial limb called?
If you are missing an arm or leg, an artificial limb can replace it. It is called prosthesis and it can help you to perform daily activities such as walking, eating, or dressing.
What are prosthetic limbs made of?
A wide variety of materials are used to create the artificial limb, including acrylic resin, carbon fiber, thermoplastics, silicone, aluminum, and titanium. To create a natural appearance, a foam cover is applied and shaped to match the real limb.
What is the difference between prosthesis and prostheses?
One part of an artificial limb is called prosthesis, but multiple parts are called prostheses. This term will apply to any artificial limb, regardless of an upper or lower limb.