4 Things to Know About Using Prosthetic Limbs : A life-changing tragedy can be something that is very difficult to recover from. If you have lost a limb in an accident of some sort, it can be hard to adjust to a new way of living. At first, it might be difficult or even extremely frustrating.
However, with enough time and practice, you’ll find that adjusting to your new life isn’t all too terrible.
People have a lot of questions when getting prosthetic limbs. Being aware of some of this information ahead of time can greatly assist one during their transition to a new way of living. Read on, and we’ll walk you through a few basic things that everyone should know.
It Will Take Time to Adjust
Whatever amount of time you think you’ll need to adjust to your new prosthetic limb, double it. The process of getting acquainted and comfortable with this new appendage will likely be the hardest and longest part of the process.
You will need to undergo a long physical therapy process following your surgery, which should be done by a team of top notch orthotists. These physical therapy routines should help train you to use this new limb and get your body to re-learn a sort of muscle memory that you’re accustomed to.
There, of course, will be some tasks that you might have done prior in your life that you will no longer be able to do. There will be certain activities that you might have to abstain from at first. This can be a tough pill to swallow, but with some time you might be able to reintegrate yourself into these activities or find new ones to enjoy.
The key is that you retain patience and a positive attitude during this admittedly difficult time.
Prosthetics Require Care and Focus
If you want to gain the benefits from your new limb, you’ll also need to care for it properly. This will help to prevent problems from occurring and will aid your overall health.
- A Check-In Before Bed
The simplest care tactic you should be aware of is removing your new prosthetic limb before heading to bed. This is a great time to examine both the device itself and your body. Are there loose pieces or any signs of damage? Are there any signs of irritation or injury at the point of connection on your own body?
Taking a little time each night to check on yourself will ensure no serious problems develop down the line.
- Proper Care For Your Body
When you have your prosthetic off, it’s important to care properly for your body. You should apply lotion on the stump when you have your limb unattached. It’s also suggested that you put a bandage over it so that you can decrease the effects of swelling.
- Exercise and Maintain Your Weight
Your physcial therapist will likely suggest a number of exercises that you should do on your own. This will keep your body in shape and your new limb working properly.
It’s also important to stay in shape and maintain similar body weight to what you are at when you are first fitted for the limb. This will ensure the limb continues to fit properly.
- A Check-In Before Bed
How A Prosthetic Works
Each prosthetic device will be different, as their design will change depending on the needs of the individual. All prosthetics are created custom-made for their eventual owner so that they can function properly as a true extension of one’s body.
A standard prosthetic limb is made of component parts that replicate an arm or a leg. These are then connected to a socket that will fit snugly over your residual limb. A liner is placed between the socket and your skin to ensure there is a safe and comfortable barrier. It provides a level of comfort while you use the prosthetic.
A socket can be fitted in a few different ways. Most people have a socket that either connects via suction or vacuum, though some might prefer the pin lock method. It’s essential, no matter what form you chose, that the socket fits perfectly to the residual limb.
Technology continues to advance today and new advancements in prosthetic technology are occurring all the time. Be sure to ask a medical professional about what might be possible in your particular situation.
There’s no one way that a prosthetic has to look. You can have a purely functional extension that does not hide any of the mechanical parts. You can also have a cosmetic cover over a prosthetic that looks just like a real arm or leg.
If you want, it’s possible that you could do either of these and do something totally original. With prosthetic technology anything is possible. You can even personalize your prosthetic with your favorite designs or colors.
The designers of your prosthetics might have some limitations set that you need to adhere to. But for the most part, you can use your prosthetic as an extension of your personal style, and rock it however you feel most comfortable.
Understanding Prosthetic Limbs
If you’re being fitted for prosthetic limbs soon, it’s important you take the time to understand how they work.
The above information can serve as a helpful guide as you make this big transition in your life. This is a time where you likely have a lot of questions, and getting as much information as possible is sure to make you feel more comfortable.
Need more medical advice, tips, and tricks? Check out our blog for more.
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4 Things to Know About Using Prosthetic Limbs
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