4 Useful Tips for Walking with Prosthetic Legs during Winter – What to Know

Navigating in temperate climates with prosthetic legs can already be a challenge for many, but it can be a slippery slope once winter hits the season. It can pose a threat to amputees that do not know how to handle taking a stroll out with a white blanket of snow outside, which is why we’re here to help stay steady and take the first step with ease. 

Various modern technologies are fortunately making winter easier for those using prosthetics from below the knee. With the tried and true tips below, you can get a grip and be one step closer to skiing, skating, or even snowboarding on ice once you get the hang of it!

Tip #1: Always Tread Carefully

Taking extreme caution is the name of the game when dealing with a cold environment and icy sidewalks, so be sure to tread carefully. Look ahead and watch out for any slippery hazards such as a slick, icy patch, or large snowbank. Don’t hesitate to take the time by avoiding these threatening situations as it will save you from trouble in the long run.

Don’t forget to leverage railings or handholds every time the opportunity arises as it will give you a better sense of grip as you traverse the winter wonderland. Stroll within your first few times, ensuring that you distribute your weight as evenly as possible. Of course, you’ll learn how to cope with winter the more you practice, allowing you to adjust to different types of snow after a while.

Tip #2: Choose the Right Boots

You can kick off a good start in winter by choosing the right boots to wear. With that in mind, you must pick a pair that values function over style as wearing kicks that have poor performance will only land you in trouble. With that in mind, the best pair is any winter footwear that enables you to get a good grip on your surroundings.

Rubber soles are an excellent choice, which gives you the option of buying shoes with built-in traction or strap-on grips such as Yaktrax. 

Tip #3: Always Stay Warm

Your footwear plays a significant role in keeping you comfortable during colder months, but maintaining warmth beyond your bottom knee goes a long way in preserving your energy. If you leave any part of your limbs exposed to the cold, you risk experiencing pain, which can compromise your abilities and functionality for the day. 

Tip #4: Consider Getting a Cane

Acquiring a cane may sometimes be hurtful to your pride, but there’s nothing more dangerous than letting pride win while you take the fall. With that in mind, getting a cane for additional support can make a world of difference as it can supplement your grip for winter. 

Winter may be a wonderland for many, but for amputees, it can pose a dangerous risk if you’re not careful. With that in mind, being aware of your surroundings and considering other factors that can lead you to threatening situations is necessary for your safety. For that reason, the tips above should give you a better grip of the season and help you make the first step to mastering the inclement weather.

If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions for this winter, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!

Our Guide to Different Running Feet Types for Your Prosthetics

Sports offer people from all walks of life the chance to enjoy physical stimulation, excitement, and the thrill of competition. Not only does it hone your body to its healthiest state, but it keeps the mind active and in high spirits as a result of the endorphin-inducing activity. 

When it comes to running, wearing the right gear is crucial if you want to improve your performance. This applies to amputees as various sports-specific prosthetics are available at the market, all of which have different uses that cater to diverse running styles. 

With that in mind, persons with amputations will need the right prosthetic component as an integral part of their athletic experience. After all, amputees also need to have the proper equipment to participate in any sport they choose thoroughly. To that end, here are the different running feet styles you can choose from depending on your needs: 

Sprinting Feet

Sprinting requires a prosthetic that is designed to be stiffer compared to long-distance running feet. This is because a more rigid design allows the individual to run more efficiently by having a quicker energy return and propulsion. 

Long-Distance Running Feet

As the moniker suggests, long-distance running feet allows individuals to run for three miles (five kilometres) or beyond. Unlike the “J” design of sprinting feet, long-distance running feet will curve more similarly to the letter “C.” 

This design can foster energy that releases more slowly at a longer time span, which is opposite from the quick bursts from sprinting feet. 

Limb Length Discrepancy

Prosthetic running feet use plenty of energy using compression, which stores the power, and release, which talks about energy return. With that in mind, running using prosthetics can shorten the sides up to two inches, which can make for an awkward feeling as you run. 

To offset this problem, prosthetists tend to align your running leg by adding one to two inches to your prosthetic side to make you taller.

Foot Whip

The inward rotation of the foot when running is called a foot whip, which is caused by weak hip flexors and adductors. Through proper exercise and stretching, you can quickly strengthen this issue and ensure proper alignment. In prosthetics, foot whips happen due to poor suspension and improper prosthetic knee rotation. 

Technology today expands the functionality of prosthetic feet, allowing amputees to improve their physical health and invest in sports with a wide array of prosthetic running feet to choose from. Various models serve different purposes – from running, walking, dancing, cycling, golfing, swimming, and even snow skiing. 

This allows amputees to maximize their energy as modern designs can store and return some of the energy generated during running. To that end, there is no single type of running foot that is perfect for every kind of amputee. However, knowing your options will help you choose the best one that suits your needs. 

If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!

Grooming, Bathing, & Safety Tips for the Disabled – What to Know

Maintaining proper personal hygiene is crucial to your health, which is why hair care, nail care, foot care, genital care, and dental care are all basic aspects that should be cleaned on a regular basis. 

While these are straightforward personal care activities most tend to take for granted, people suffering from disabilities may struggle to keep good sanitation without having the proper support.  To that end, we’re here to give you a list of safety tips that can help provide assistance and make your bathing experience as stress-free as it can be. 

Tip #1: Install Grab Bars

Having grab bars in your bathroom can do wonders in adding an extra layer of security and accessibility for people with disabilities. Something as simple as stepping out of the bath can be dangerous, which is why grab bars are crucial as it provides additional support when getting in and out of the bath. The best part is that grab bars enable you to exercise more independence as it enables you to have more control over your movements. 

Tip #2: Install Slip-Resistant Flooring

Installing slip-resistant flooring can be a life-saver as it will significantly reduce your chances of slipping and acquiring injuries. You can have it for both the bathtub and shower too, as these two are the most hazardous area in your bathroom. 

With slip-resistant flooring, you can ensure a safe environment, which allows you to have more freedom to walk out and about in your own bathroom.

Tip #3: Install Raised Toilet Seats

Squatting down to sit on a toilet can be troublesome for people with disabilities. For that reason, having a raised toilet seat can ease the experience and make it more convenient for people to sit down and get back up using less effort. To that end, you can have a professional raise the seat by up to three to six inches. 

Tip #4: Install Tension Poles

For those who are looking for an alternative to grab bars, tension poles are just as effective as you can install them near tubs or showers. Similar to grab bars, tension poles provide people with extra support when moving in and out of the shower. 

Tip #5: Install Roll-In Showers

Taking showers can be a daunting ordeal for people in a wheelchair, which is why roll-in showers can significantly make lives easier as it is specifically designed for those in a wheelchair. Keep in mind that roll-in showers must meet the standard of the American Disabilities Association, which should have a dimension of 60×30. 

For people with disabilities, simple everyday tasks such as washing and grooming can be a challenging ordeal. It demands movements from the wrist, hands, arms, and muscles that most people tend to overlook. With that in mind, personal hygiene can cost people their independence without the proper tips and equipment to assist them. 

Learn more about our prosthesis safety and solutions from Lindhe Xtend. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

Important Pointers to Remember for Prosthetics-Wearer to Have a Normal Life

Second chances like prosthetics are always beautiful. They remind us that we are fortunate because we are still alive and still have the opportunity to be with our loved ones. Moreover, prosthetics give us the power to perform normal activities as much as possible. That is why it is of utmost importance that we take good care of our prosthesis to prevent permanent problems.
If we don’t, we will suffer secondary conditions related to the loss of the limb, which causes pain and significant discomfort. It is necessary to ensure the prevention of complications by taking good care of the residual limb, the prosthesis, and overall health to ward secondary conditions off.

These are essential pointers to keep in mind:

Closely monitor the condition of the residual limb.

It’s hard to do that because the prosthesis conceals it. This is when the services of the experts come in. They will check if the limb gets twice-a-day washing to ensure its cleanliness and to guarantee the prevention of skin irritation. They will carefully look if there are skin sores or blisters that the prosthesis and skin rubbing are causing. They will also check if the prosthesis fits well or whether or not it’s causing discomfort.

An ill-fitting prosthesis can cause secondary pain that the wearer does not deserve. That’s why they give further advice on how to thoroughly take care of the prosthesis, socks, and liners. The experts will also advise to wear shoes to maintain alignment, or not to wear wet liners, or how to keep the prosthesis dry, and many more. It’s essential that you tell the truth during these encounters. After all, overall health can never be achieved through lies.

Don’t wear the prosthesis for too long if you’re a new amputee.

That’s because you’re still healing. Healing is a process that takes at least two months before doctors can give you clearance to do so. Wearing the prosthesis right after that and for an extended period is a different process that the body and the mind need to get used to. If it’s forced, something is bound to break—the residual limb, the prosthesis, or the will to be a functional human being.

Be physically and mentally active.

Even without wearing the prosthesis, it’s essential to remain active both in mind and in the body. Work out the arm and back muscles, as well as the stomach, and pelvic muscles. Wearing prosthesis requires the heart to work harder. It’s imperative to be engaged in activities that encourage proper blood circulation. Doing so decreases the chances of fatigue and allows the wearer to endure longer and walk farther with the prosthesis.

More Things to Remember

Wearing prosthetics is necessary for amputees; otherwise, complications will arise, such as obesity, which opens the door for Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Wheelchairs are, of course, conventional alternatives, but they help the amputee develop shoulder tendonitis and arthritis. Dependent positioning can cause chronic lower leg oedema, as well as venous stasis ulcers. Moreover, little use of intact limb causes muscle atrophy. Sitting develops extreme pain down the hip and knee, which make life more unbearable.

The prosthesis can bring long-term physical benefits to the wearer. But the decision to wear it is unique for the amputee and must be appropriately weighed.

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

For Lower-Limb Amputees: How to Prevent and Handle Falls

If you are a lower-extremity amputee, taking care of yourself is essential, including preventing yourself from falling. It’s inevitable that you might get the chance of falling, so it is also important to know what to do after. It’s not a question of possibility, but when it is more likely to happen. 

Below are some safety measures for the lower-limb amputees. Here’s how to prevent and handles falls.

How to prevent falls

Cliche as it may seem, but prevention is better than cure. It’s best to check your environment, whether it’s your home, work, or any other places that you frequently pass by. Make sure these areas or spaces are free from potential trip hazards. Below are some of the things to watch out for:

    • Uneven Floor: Make sure to check small discrepancies in the floors. An example of this is the transition between tile and carpet or exposed wires. 
    • Household Pets: Be wary of these fluffy creatures at home. Chances are they might be snooping around, without you knowing it.
  • Throw Rugs: How many people have fallen on the floor due to scattered rugs? Make sure rugs and other clothing pieces aren’t spread on the floor.

What to consider when going down

As a lower-limb amputee, it may be such a struggle for you to go down. You are at risk of getting out of balanced. Chances are, you might end up with a bad fall. Yes, there is a good way and a bad way to fall. You should be mindful of these two so that in case you fall, you can act on it right away. Here’s the difference:

    • Bad Fall: The bad way is to tense up and go down stiff like aboard. The truth is, it’s not easy to relax when you see impending doom.
  • Good Fall: The good way is to remain flexible, by bending at the joints and trying to protect vulnerable parts of your body. For instance, your arms can serve as the bumper, leaving your head and hips to suffer less impact during a fall.

What to do after falling

No matter how much you try to take extra care, it’s still inevitable that you’ll fall. It’s a good thing if you have someone nearby who can quickly assist you. However, if you’ve dislocated a joint, improper help may even worsen the situation. Below are the right steps to take after falling:

    • Take a deep breath and wait a minute. 
    • If someone is waiting to help you, ask them if they see anything out of the ordinary. Check for any wound or bleeding. 
    • Roll onto your stomach, bring your feet and knees up beneath your torso, and then rise with support from the person nearby. 

If alone, it’s better to crawl to a nearby steady surface to sit on. Work your way into the seat and perform a further self-assessment.

At this point, you may probably have an idea about how to deal with falling. Preventing it from happening is the way to go. However, it helps to know how to get up after you fall. Consider all the simple steps mentioned above, and you’ll be on the right track.

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!