Now our quick adapter Xtend Connect can take even more load. We are upgrading the new version to a maximum weight of 150 kg.
See article numbers for 100 kg and 150 kg on the Xtend Connect Product page.
In the same way that you would find with a cardiologist, ophthalmologist, and orthodontist, finding the right prosthetist for your needs is an effort that entails quite a bit of research because of the various factors involved.
From asking around for recommendations to incessantly calling different offices to get all the needed information, getting the right prosthetist can be quite laborious. With the prices of custom prosthetics on the rise, it’s only right that you settle with an option that suits your preferences. Fortunately, settling on the right choice for your investment and finding the best prosthetist to suit your needs doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might expect.
To make the process of finding the perfect prosthesis much easier, here’s a quick checklist that you can use to find the best prosthetist as easily as possible:
1. A proper background or list of credentials
Generally speaking, the key sign that a prosthetist is more than capable of servicing your needs lies in their list of credentials—namely, their degree, certifications, and list of satisfied clients. A potential prosthetist’s list of credentials is usually displayed on their official website or social media pages. If there aren’t any online references for a professional’s list of credentials, however, then you can always ask the prosthetist themselves for a copy of the record.
2. Within a close distance from your home or office
Throughout the prosthesis process, you’ll need to shuttle back and forth a few times or several trips because of all the consultations, fittings, and updates to your prosthesis. Before settling on a particular professional, make sure that their office location is close to your home or office so that the entire process can be done efficiently and hassle-free.
3. Great reviews
Another telltale sign that a prosthetist can serve your needs as best as possible is if they have quite the list of reviews and testimonials to back up their claims of quality and service.
A quick search online will lead you to a few dozen detailed reviews about how the final product worked, how helpful the prosthetist was, and whether or not the investment was worth it. Such reviews give insight as to whether or not they’re worth contacting. Aside from the Internet, however, you can also contact the Amputee Coalition for reviews on any prosthetist in your area and ask for any recommendations for a more thorough search!
4. A willingness and ability to answer every question that is asked
Once you narrow down your options and get in touch with your set of prospective prosthetists, the next factor to watch out for is their ability to answer every question that you may have. Before you call the office or set a meeting with a prosthetist, make sure to come prepared by gathering all the questions that you have in mind so that you can feel more confident in your decision.
When it comes to asking questions, hold nothing back because the only way to gauge whether or not a prosthetist’s service is worth investing in is if they can ask any question you might have about the treatment itself.
Finding the best prosthetist to work with for your treatment is integral to having a desirable experience that will carry over long after you’ve fully paid for your prosthesis. Throughout your entire search process, make sure to take these factors into mind so that you can easily understand whether or not a prosthetist’s services are worth shelling out your hard-earned money on!
If you’re looking for a prosthetic foot, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.
Going through the experience of being a new amputee is never going to be easy as you’d like it to be. This is especially true if you used to live a fairly active life filled with hobbies and manual work. Thankfully, life doesn’t have to stop or completely change if you get an amputation because getting a prosthesis can get your overall function back to normal and perform just as well as you used to!
If you’re fairly new to the idea of having a prosthesis and are keen on maximizing its potential and improving your experience in the long run, then there’s no need to worry because there are a few key tips that you can apply right away. To jump back into your regular routine as quickly as possible, here are six tips that you use to improve and enhance the use of your new prosthesis:
1. Always follow what your prosthetist says
One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure an easygoing and comfortable experience is always to follow your prosthetist’s orders for work. Dutifully following any recommendations and pieces of advice that a prosthetist gives will help with making all the necessary adjustments and guarantee a comfortable experience in no more than a few months!
2. Keep your prosthesis as clean as possible
Another effective way to cut down the adjustment period with your prosthesis is to keep every corner of your new limb as clean as possible at all times. Practising a few simple routines, such as wearing prosthetic socks regularly, putting on a shrinker overnight, and keeping the insides of your liners clean can make a huge difference in the overall experience with your prosthesis.
3. Call your prosthetist right away if you’re having any issues
When it comes to living every day with your new prosthesis, it’s important to act on any slight issue with comfort, fit, or skin issues right away because small issues can easily grow into bigger ones if they aren’t treated. After you get your final fitting done, make sure to stay in touch with your prosthetist regularly and don’t forget to ask questions!
4. Wear your prosthesis every day
Admittedly, it can be quite tempting to take your prosthesis off every chance you get because of how uncomfortable the entire experience can get. It is important, however, to wear your new prosthesis at all times because it will only get comfortable with daily use as your body accustoms to the feeling much faster.
5. Watch your weight
Know that your weight plays a significant role in how your prosthesis feels since your body’s composition can change when you gain weight, essentially leading to various forms of discomfort. The first few weeks after the amputation period, in particular, can either make or break the entire experience as the sudden inactivity can lead to increased fat, so make sure to keep your weight under control!
6. Set goals for wearing your prosthesis
Holding yourself accountable by setting goals and doing everything you can to achieve them will make the entire experience of using a prosthesis much more comfortable in the long run. Certain goals, such as exercising more, walking farther, and adding more challenges to use your prosthesis, are great ways to speed up the acclimation period!
Having a prosthesis is a life-changing experience for anyone to go through. By applying the right tips, you can live normally again as you did before the amputation! By following the tips mentioned in this article, you won’t have to feel any more discomfort or pain with using your prosthesis after a few short months!
If you are looking for foot prosthesis solutions after getting foot amputation, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.
The first step towards improving your balance requires you to strengthen your core. This doesn’t mean that you will only work on your abs. Instead, core work will take on a holistic approach of strengthening your abs, lower back, and even hip muscles. After a few months of working on your balance, you will notice that every step you take with your prosthetic leg will be much stronger and more deliberate.
In this article, we will talk more about exercises that will help strengthen your core and other moves that will also improve your balance.
1. Prosthetic leg balance
This move allows you to balance on your prosthetic leg. If you’re a beginner, make sure to have something to hold on to, such as a stable chair or a handrail within arm’s reach.
Then, with your feet together, lift your sound side foot with the knee facing forward or to the side. Hold the position with eyes open (and fixed on one spot to maintain your balance). Next, hold the same position with eyes closed. Switch feet and repeat 4 times on each foot.
If any move feels wrong or unsafe for you, stop and check with your prosthetist or physician. Depending on your health and physical condition, know that some exercises may not be recommended.
2. Leg swings
This move is excellent for warming up and stretching your hip muscles and joints. First, stand on your right leg and raise the left leg at least 3-6 inches off the floor. Keep your arms at your sides while you swing your left leg forward and backward, touching the floor for balance. While doing so, make sure that you keep your torso erect throughout the movement.
Next, increase the level of difficulty by repeating the move but without allowing your foot to touch the ground. Then, switch legs and repeat.
3. Prosthetic leg clock with arms
To perform this move, have an image of a clock in your mind. First, balance on your prosthetic leg. In doing so, keep your torso straight, head up, and hands on your hips. Point your arm straight overhead to 12 o’clock, then to the side at 3 o’clock, and then circle low and around to 9 o’clock without losing your balance.
Increase the level of difficulty by having someone else call out the different times to you and even switching it up. After you’re done with your prosthetic leg, switch to the opposite arm and leg and repeat.
4. The clock on an unstable surface
Once you’re confident that you can balance on a stable surface, make it harder by trying the exercise on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU (Ballast Ball) platform.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to stand near a wall for safety. Start in the middle of the board on 2 feet. When you feel comfortable, carefully execute the moves that are similar to the Prosthetic Leg Clock exercise. Keep in mind that this exercise will be much harder than it seems.
5. One-legged squat
The one-legged squat is famous for developing great balance, leg strength, and flexibility, as well as coordination. First, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Point your left foot out front, make sure your toes are just barely touching the floor, and push your hips back and down into a one-legged squat position.
Your right knee should be bent, your chest upright, eyes in front of you, and your arms out front. Then, slowly push your right leg up into the starting position. Make sure to keep your knee relaxed and your back flat throughout the movement. Switch legs, and repeat the movements.
An improved balance will create a stronger version of yourself, even possibly freeing you from lower back pain, which lessens the chance of serious injury in case of a fall. Within months, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your overall walking. Perform these ten exercises regularly and witness improvement in your prosthetic balance.
If you are looking for prosthetic foot solutions, Lindhe Xtend is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.
After amputation, a new life awaits those who have lost one or more of their limbs. When you lose a part of our body, a prosthesis becomes your new extension. There’s no denying that the transitional period can be difficult for many. If you’ve recently lost a limb, it’s crucial to prepare for the day you’ll be fitted for a prosthesis. Preparation is key and is crucial to the periods both before and after surgery.
Although much of the preparation is mental, there are still a few other things you’ll have to do to ready yourself for your prosthesis. Here are a few things you should know:
The Planning Process
The planning process requires the coordination of a surgeon, a prosthetist, and a physical therapist. The surgeon will perform the actual amputation while the prosthetist will design, fit, build, and adjust the prosthesis. During the entire process, your physical therapist will be by your side, assisting you in doing exercises before and after the surgery. He or she will also help you learn to use the prosthesis when the time comes.
It’s important for your team to discuss things with you beforehand so the amputation and rehabilitation process goes as smoothly as possible.
Exercising Before and After Surgery
You will need to exercise before and after your amputation. The goal is to increase muscle strength and flexibility because the more strong and flexible you are, the easier it will be for you to adjust to life with a prosthesis.
Physical therapist-prescribed exercises can also help reduce swelling in the residual limb, while also preventing the tissues in the residual limb from shortening. In most cases, the exercises you have to do will depend on the type of amputation that was performed.
Preparing For Your Prosthesis After Surgery
A prosthesis can be worn soon after the surgery while your residual limb heals. Such a device can also be fit for long-term use when there is reduced swelling in the limb.
A shrinker or an elastic bandage should be worn over the residual limb while there is still swelling. The compression helps to increase circulation and ease pain, reducing the symptoms of phantom limb.
Preparatory and Permanent Prosthesis
Once the swelling in your residual limb goes down, you may get fitted for a temporary prosthesis. This prosthesis is typically lightweight and easy to use, which is why some experts think it helps people learn to use a permanent prosthesis faster.
Later on, this prosthesis is replaced with a permanent prosthesis, one that has higher-quality components. Alternatively, patients can choose to use a prosthesis with permanent components, but with a temporary socket and frame.
Using a Prosthesis
When the prosthesis is delivered, you will then be taught the basics of using the prosthesis, which will include the following:
- How to put the prosthesis on
- How to take it off
- How to walk with it
- How to care for the skin of the residual limb and the prosthesis
Your physical therapist and occupational therapist will likely be the ones helping you to grow accustomed to life with a prosthesis. Their help will be invaluable for learning how to care for your prosthetic and residual limb.
Learning how to use a prosthetic is just the beginning of the recovery process. Amputees also need to undergo rehabilitation for amputation. This is coordinated by an occupational or physical therapist, along with the prosthetist.
The rehabilitation process itself entails different exercises designed to strengthen your muscles and maintain flexibility in the residual limb. Your team of professionals will also teach you how to use the prosthesis and assist you in your daily activities. Along with this is counselling or psychotherapy, which will help round out your care and make it easier to come to terms with the loss of your limb and life with a prosthetic.
Adjusting to life with a prosthesis can be difficult, but preparation truly is key. With our guide, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, which will hopefully ease your anxieties and help you approach recovery with confidence.
Are you looking for a high-quality foot prosthesis? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Visit Lindhe Extend for all your foot prosthesis needs today.
The use of advanced prosthetics today has overshadowed its interesting history. You’ll be surprised to know that prosthetics, despite its advancements, dates way back when the use of technology was still limited.
The History of Prosthetics
According to history, the use of artificial limbs was found in Egypt because they had a tradition of creating limbs for mummified corpses who had missing body parts. They do this to make the dead look “whole” in the next life.
The earliest discovery of prosthetics was around 3,000 years ago when archaeologists found the remains of a high-born woman with a wooden prosthetic toe that was attached to the woman’s foot by a leather strap. After undergoing further examinations, results show that the prosthetic toe was used in the woman’s daily life due to its apparent worn out spots.
One hundred years ago, another proof of the use of prosthetics was unearthed again in Egypt, where it was made from plaster, linen, and glue.
The Innovation in Prosthetics
It was in the early 1500s when the innovation in prosthetics took place. Ambroise Paré, a French surgeon, started to create prosthetics that mimic leg and arm movements. Eventually, the Civil War and other wars created a massive demand for prosthetics due to the high-record numbers of amputations. James Hanger, an American soldier, and one of the first amputees of the war created a prosthetic leg that features hinges in the knee and ankles.
After World War I, the Walter Reed Army Hospital in the US created a huge number of artificial limbs to accommodate the returning wounded soldiers. When World War II rolled around, the UK made its mark in the world of prosthetics when the Queen Mary’s Hospital, became a place for artificial limbs in 1939. It was during World War II when the suction sock was introduced, which was built for above-knee prosthetics.
Advancements in technology now take prosthetics closer to fully replicating the full function of a human limb. Today, there are microprocessor knees that let prosthetics quickly adapt to their environments. There are also the blade prostheses that enable the wearer to sprint.
Nowadays, prosthetics have better aesthetics, thanks to William Root, who created prosthetics with the use of titanium that allowed him to create intricate and unique designs for each person. Bionic arms are being created as well, and it features muscle sensors that are connected to the skin that will let for effective use of the limb.
Prosthetics, in today’s context feature nerve detectors that control it. It operates through spinal motor neurons that allow for enhanced command sensor detection. This allows the user to think that they are actually moving the limb.
Prosthetics have dramatically progressed in recent years. Now, prosthetics are highly-functioning, and, with the rate it’s going, it won’t come as a surprise if it operates as a real limb in the years to come.
The advancements in prosthetics have also paved the way for more types to choose from in the market, especially for individuals who are keen on participating in sports activities.
If you are looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with us to see how we can help.
A new life awaits someone who has had an amputation. The idea of having a limb loss and navigating through life may seem a bit scary. It may inevitably come with a lot of challenges and complicated emotions. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard and struggling. With the right prosthesis and support system, you can simply bounce back to your optimal self with an artificial limb.
For your guide and reference, here’s how to return to your normal self with the use of an artificial limb.
Artificial limb in a nutshell
A prosthesis is an artificial device meant to replace a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, or a condition present at birth. Prosthetic devices are specifically designed to assist patients in their everyday lives. They are custom made for each patient to create and achieve a comfortable fit.
An artificial limb is a form of prosthetic devices. There is a wide range of artificial limbs created and designed, specific to patient types. They are typically built from strong, durable, and lightweight materials. These materials include carbon fibre, acrylic resin, silicone, thermoplastics, aluminium, or titanium. The purpose of an artificial limb is to facilitate the movement of a patient while still supporting the body weight.
How to transition to life with an artificial limb
The initial step that amputees take to acquire the right prosthetic device is to look for the prosthetist who can assist them. Here’s what you need to do:
- Looking for a prosthetist: Make sure to research and look for a qualified prosthetist who knows your needs and understands your situation. This is because you will be working with the prosthetist for the rest of your life—from assessing your residual limb to getting the best artificial limb for you to assisting you even after your prosthesis has been attached.
- Dealing with your prosthesis: Make sure to decide on the perfect fit for your artificial limb. Your prosthesis can offer you maximum independence by emulating what your natural limb does. With the right prosthesis, you can regain partial or full mobility, go back to work, do what you love to do, and bring back your self-worth.
How to find the right support
It’s worth knowing that regaining mobility and your whole life doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a collaborative effort of all the people that surround you—from your family to your prosthetist down to your support system. Consider having the following:
- Support system: Know that your family and friends are your first support system. They will help you through recovery until you regain your independence.
- Peer support: It’s best to have peer support with individuals who can relate with you. It can be immensely helpful to talk to someone who shares your experiences. Fellow amputees can offer firsthand insights and be there for you. Overall, peer support is an essential part of recovery.
- Prosthetist support: Your prosthetist will play a pivotal role in your recovery. Make sure to bring out to your prosthetist any concerns. Even if you are having emotional difficulties, talk to them, and ask how they can help.
With the right artificial limb and the support system, you can surely rise above the situation. But all these boil down to you as the amputee. Never allow the loss of a limb to limit you by being resilient and doing what you love the most. For all you know, a great life still awaits you!
If you are looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with us to see how we can help.
From wooden legs to high-tech prostheses thanks to state-of-the-art resources, technology continues to revolutionize the development of prosthetic devices. It continues to evolve as applied science continues to evolve by the year, enriching the lives of amputees with the rise of computer-aided prosthetics.
One of the most anticipated is the microprocessor-controlled prosthetics, a so-called “smart” version of prostheses. The device aims to improve mobility, reduce risks of falls, and overall enhance the quality of life for its wearers.
How Microprocessor Technology Works
Computerized prosthetics are built with a microprocessor, software, sensors, a hydraulic, pneumatic resistance system, and a battery. All the components worth in conjunction to enhance the amputee’s stability. Detecting environmental changes, for instance, is now possible due to the sensor monitors.
It can evaluate different surfaces and speeds, which automatically adjusts the resistance to the bending and extension of the knee. This feedback calibrates the walking speed suitable for the terrain. With this feature, the wearer can quickly recover from any stumbles and have better control over their movements.
Microprocessor Technology Promotes a New Level of Independence
Microprocessor-controlled prosthetics opens up new opportunities for amputees as it gives them control over their swing and stance phases. With the ability to walk faster, slower, or go down and up the stairs with a natural gait, the wearers can enjoy a new level of independence.
The feedback goes through multiple sensors 100 times a second, which means you can make adjustments with your next step in real-time. This recreates a controllable free-swinging motion with reliable stability with each move you make. It features the following benefits:
- Stumble Recovery
The revolutionary motor sensors inside the prosthetics can detect movements in real-time, which means it can sense if you’re in a high-risk position. For instance, if you’re about to trip, the microprocessor-controlled prostheses will harden up to act as support. This allows you to recover quickly, while the prostheses will normalize once it detects you’re back in a secure stance.
- Extra Durability and Anti-Slip Features
Microprocessor-controlled prosthetic devices are built with a hard exterior to protect the hardware from environmental risks like scratches or dents. It also has an anti-slip feature to enhance the wearer’s stability when kneeling, all while improving user experience as the prostheses is easy to put on and take off.
Microprocessor Technology as a Cutting Edge Solution
Microprocessor technology is a revolutionary step towards biological systems as it enhances the lives of amputees like never before. For one, the microprocessors are customizable, which means patients can fine-tune the device to match their natural gait.
It also boasts of other features that help amputees adjust their walking speed along with a secure controlled recline for sitting positions.
Microprocessor technology achieves a prosthetic milestone as it promotes a reliable and smooth interaction between the mechanics, electronics, and the user. With this advancement, amputees can reap the benefits of dynamic motors as they can adjust movements, normalize their gait, and achieve stability with the help of real-time electronics and high-resolution sensors.
If you are looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with us to see how we can help.
The evolution of bionic devices ensures that sport-specific versions of prosthetics are available regardless of the type and need. Therefore, there is a specialized prosthetic that will help you perform better no matter what sport you play.
Athletes can review several options for upper limb, knee, and foot prosthetics, which are appropriate for amputees and those requiring customized support. These prosthetic devices can help those who participate in sports, such as athletics, golf, cycling, hockey, fishing, and baseball.
The iLimb is one of the more fascinating prosthetic advancements for competitive athletes. It’s a bionic hand that allows finger and thumb movements to aid in a range of grips. This prosthetic is controllable via a mobile app that connects to the artificial hand.
Meanwhile, a microprocessor controls the Rheo Knee to stabilize movement, especially on challenging terrain. This prosthetic device also makes it easier for the individual to perform complicated motions like moving backwards and squat-to-standing movements.
Likewise, the Symbionic Leg is another prosthetic apparatus that combines microprocessors in the knee and ankle joints. This sports technology helps the athlete gain better stability and quick recovery after stumbling and also provides symmetry with the other leg. Other prosthetics for athletics include the Power Knee and the Proprio Foot, to name a few.
The Power Knee is the world’s first motorized prosthetic knee. It functions as an integrated extension of its user while using battery-powered capabilities to deal with asymmetrical movement and lost muscle capability. This ingenious device also has AI systems and motion sensors that help it adapt to the user’s walking style.
The Proprio Foot, on the other hand, is an adaptive ankle for moderately-active amputees. It has a dynamic carbon foot blade that adapts to the terrain and increases toe clearance in every swing. Proprio has three levels and has an accompanying app for iOS devices.
Competitive athletes and fitness-minded hobbyists can take advantage of the benefits that come with sports prosthetics. One of these technological advancements is the carbon fibre blade for below-the-knee amputees. While there are fibre blades for casual walkers, there is a different version of which is meant for short-distance running. The latter features a curved shape that flexes every time the runner needs to push off from the ground.
Meanwhile, above-the-knee amputees use a combination of knee and foot sports prosthetics that remain durable even in slippery conditions and rugged terrains. It has adjustable ankles and shock absorbers depending on the athlete’s preference. There’s also the Moto Knee with hydraulic dampening for adjustments to different speeds. This high-impact device has interchangeable parts for varying motions.
Find the suitable prosthetic
Since sports prosthetics are not ideal for everyday use, you can seek the advice of your physician to pair the right devices for your specific needs. Without a doubt, modern technology gave rise to sports prosthetics that establish an equal playing field. However, if you want the latest prosthetics in the market, check out what Lindhe Xtend has to offer.
Found by swimmer and triple-amputee Christoffer Lindhe, they offer the Xtend Foot that adapts to various terrains and the Xtend Connect, which allows the user to disconnect their prothesis to dress comfortably. You can also purchase the Xtend Cover to protect the prosthetic and the Xtend Testrig that makes you comfortable walking in various terrain.
If you are looking for foot prosthesis solutions for athletes and fitness hobbyists, get in touch with us to see how we can help.
The production and improvement of prosthetic limbs are one of the biggest challenges in healthcare as engineers try to match nature. It aims to fulfil the same function as a natural part of the body, but even after centuries of development, the road to bionic limbs still fall short in functionality. Nevertheless, the future is bright as technology is changing the shape of prosthetics bit by bit.
Advances in technology are improving industries and the lives of many in various forms. Part of its significant improvement is seen in prosthetic limbs, where many are steadily breaking free from the limitations of basic attachments back in the day. In recent years, and in future predictions, artificial limbs are incorporating technologies that enhance the limb’s movement.
What Do Prosthetic Limbs Look Like Today?
Prosthetic limbs were once a tool to restore the appearance and function of an amputee’s missing limb. While it did not bring back full motion and the sense of touch, there were sport-specific prostheses that enabled amputees to continue their way of life. The designs were also made to enhance performance and reduce any risk of injury, which is why prosthesis plays a significant role in managing mobility.
Its advancement through the years are significant, which is seen in one of the first revolutionary prosthetic designs back in the 1990s. Released in the United States, a microprocessor-controlled joint prosthetics revolutionized its entire function as it can now automatically adapt to an amputee’s unique needs.
For instance, utilizing a microprocessor-controlled joint for the legs can encourage the artificial limb to mimic the person’s specific walking patterns, increasing mobility and natural leg movement overall. Advances in materials have also improved the design of prosthetic limbs, making the material lighter in weight and providing more skin-like coverings for a more natural finish. To the untrained eye, most prosthetic limbs are hard to distinguish from natural arms and legs.
Advances in Prosthetic Limbs and What to Expect in the Future
Prosthetics in recent years are more comfortable and highly-engineered like never before, but its production is moving at an electric pace with the rise of neuroprosthetics. This introduction has turned brain-controlled prosthetics as an essential field of research.
The idea is to utilize electrode rays and place it in the brain, nerves or muscles as a digital means of translating the message between the body and the brain. This means that through brainpower alone, amputees have a chance at controlling movement.
Stimulating Touch as the Next Frontier in Neural Prosthetics
A significant aspect that acts as a roadblock for the progress of neural prosthetics is the sense of touch. A lack of sensory feedback will compromise an amputee’s ability to develop dexterity, which is why different labs from across the world are focusing on developing electrically stimulating prosthetic limbs.
The UChicago research team, for instance, has a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to cover their study on the brain’s somatosensory cortex. By studying how the system transmits sensory information from the body’s nerves to the brain, the possibility of creating prosthetics that stimulate the nerves through electrodes in real-time is becoming highly likely.
Through time and more advances in technology, the next bionic human maybe just on the horizon.
If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!
While the loss of a limb can be physically and emotionally challenging, many people who have undergone amputation are still able to live healthy and active lives. Recuperation and rehabilitation will follow faster if the patient is armed with proper self-care information.
Below are essential tips on how to best care for the wound after operation:
Post-Amputation Wound Care
The first and most critical step towards a patient’s recovery is caring for the injury and the residual limb. Any surgical wound, such as amputation, is at risk of becoming infected. This is because of the presence of germs and other bacteria that can enter the wound site, which can lead to other complications. Your injury and how it heals will depend on the amputation location. Keep in mind that the speed in which a wound heals varies among patients. It also depends on several factors, such as the amputation’s location and the limb’s condition during surgery.
While at the hospital, pay attention as to how your doctors and nurses care for your wound. They will also give you special instructions before your discharge so that you’ll be able to care for yourself once you leave. Most amputees are inserted with a drainage tube to remove fluids after the surgery, which you will need to drain throughout the day. You’ll also need to change the gauze dressings regularly. If the amputation causes skeletal injuries to the residual limb, surgeons will use pins for bone alignment, and these devices will need to be sterilized as well.
Remember to wash and sanitize your hands before handling the injured area. When cleaning, use a mild soap and water and never use alcohol-based agents. You can dab with a sterile gauze pad or a soft cloth but never scrub the wound. Be careful when washing the limb and prevent it from getting soaked. After cleaning, make sure that the area is completely dry because dampness is a breeding ground for bacteria. Never shave around the site and always check for ingrown hairs.
Preparing for Prosthetics
As your healing progresses, you’ll need to schedule a follow-up session with your doctor so that they can remove the sutures and examine the progress of your skin. To help your limb better adjust to tolerance and pressure, do mild exercise, and gently massage the area every day. Wearing compression stockings or bands also helps prevent swelling. If you want to wear prosthetics, you will undergo a series of fittings and physical therapy.
Take Note of Red Flags
Infections after amputation are severe and can even be life-threatening. Always check your skin for any swelling and tearing. Call your doctor immediately if you notice the following:
- The residual limb is getting redder
- The bleeding from the wound
- The intense, sharp pains that don’t respond with medication
- The wound is spreading and getting larger
- The skin is warmer or colder to the touch than usual
- The thick brownish or grey discharge
Undergoing an amputation is both life-changing and overwhelming. Don’t stress and allow yourself time to get used to your new routine and resume your daily activities. Having the right mindset and proper self-care is the key to a more comfortable and faster recovery.
If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!
Your motorcycle adventures don’t need to end with a leg amputation. On the other hand, although many riders have lost a limb, they can still hop right on their motorcycles can go for a ride. It’s a matter of making modifications to your motorcycle so it can comfortably adjust to your needs.
The first step is to consult with a local bike shop that specializes in custom bikes. Discuss your specific needs, abilities, and other physical concerns. Because of the limb loss, an amputee rider will use controls on a motorcycle differently than in the past In this article, we will share common bike customizations amputee riders can make to help them get back on the road. Below are some common modifications to consider:
1. Gear shifter
The gear shifter on a standard bike is operated by the left foot with a lift and push of the toes. Riders with below-knee (BK) prostheses can address this issue by adding a heel extension so that they can change gears by both pushing down the heel and toe. Some motorcycles, such as the Harley-Davidson, already offer this setting on their cruiser models. In some cases, riders with left leg prostheses can choose to move the gear shifter to the right side for more convenience.
A more recent alternative is the Kliktronic electronic shifter system. It is a gear changer that has a convenient push-button gear on the left handlebar. The entire kit is removable and can be transferred to another bike.
On a standard motorcycle, the rear wheel brake is operated by a toe lever for the right foot. For right leg amputees, they can either modify the right brake pedal to fit their prostheses or move the brake system entirely to the left side. They can also mount an additional hand brake lever on the handlebar. Newer bikes, such as those manufactured by BMW already come with an anti-lock brake system that seamlessly connects the front and rear brakes.
3. Above-knee challenges
For riders with above-knee (AK) prostheses, they face these two challenges: how to keep the bike upright when stopped, and how to operate the side stand. To address these concerns, some riders choose a prosthetic knee that is stable in an extended position and that connects the side stand to a hand lever extension below the tank. Some AK riders opt to ride a trike instead. It’s not the same as a bike, but sidecars give more stability while providing the riders freedom of movement.
Getting yourself and your motorcycle ready after a limb loss could be quite challenging, but it is certainly not an impossibility. With a few drawings, your trusted bike builder will be able to give recommendations and make adjustments for your motorcycle. It takes a great deal of mental and physical preparation, but with regular practice, you will be able to experience the wonderful thrill of being on the road again!
If you need help in choosing the best prosthesis for your biking adventures, get in touch with us and see our range of products. Our team will be happy to assist you and connect you with our distributors worldwide.
If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions for this winter, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!
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!
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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
Wearing a prosthesis after an amputation is a viable option for every limb-loss patient. Wearing one depends on several factors, such as the type of disease you have or your body condition. Some may choose to wear a prosthesis to assist them in their living, while others may choose otherwise. Occasionally, some may use other alternatives until they can get their prosthesis.
The question is, when can you finally have a prosthesis? There are several factors to consider and fulfil before you can finally start wearing your prosthesis. We’ll discuss the main ingredients to success in the following section. Keep on reading to learn more.
Why do people use means other than the prosthesis?
If you have a lower-limb loss, wearing a prosthesis is your best option. However, most people wearing a prosthesis occasionally use a wheelchair, crutches, canes, or walkers. These devices can help when:
- Your prosthesis is being repaired.
- You are waiting for a new prosthesis.
- You are recuperating from skin breakdown.
- You have been fatigued from using your prosthesis.
- You are experiencing balance or coordination problems.
- Safety is a concern.
When can you finally have a prosthesis?
It’s worth knowing that you need a team of surgeons, nurses, therapists, social workers, and a prosthetist to work together for your surgery, rehabilitation, and prosthetic care. Before you get into the actual wearing of a prosthesis, you should have achieved the following main ingredients for success.
- Successful Surgery: This entails a surgery that leaves a well-healed, well-shaped, and well-padded limb. The limb should have the best length for the type of prosthesis you will use.
- Physical Therapy: You should have an appropriate amount of physical therapy. The therapy should be able to keep your joints flexible, strengthen your remaining limb, teach you how to carry out activities of daily living and train you in using your prosthesis.
- Prosthetic Care: A certified prosthetist is essential for your prosthetic care. They should be experienced in working with older amputees and can fit you with a lightweight limb. They offer components that will help you walk safely and comfortably.
- Healthy Diet: A healthful diet should give you the needed nutrients for your body and the strength needed to work hard for recovery.
- Health Care: Other appropriate care of any other health problems should not be undermined and provided to you.
- Pain control: Pain management helps you deal with any pain during and after the surgery.
All these ingredients are essential for the overall success of your recovery and readiness for a prosthesis. Any missing ingredient may not make you a suitable candidate for a prosthesis. This holistic approach – from the surgery itself to physical therapy down to proper healthcare – is paramount to the overall equation.
At this point, you now have an idea as to what the whole process entails before you can finally wear a prosthesis. Do understand that a prosthesis is designed to assist you in living a normal life. Consider all the valuable information mentioned above and expect to undergo all the processes before finally wearing a prosthesis.
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!
Even if an amputation causes the loss of your body parts, life doesn’t end there. A prothesis exists as a replacement for a lost body part. With a prosthesis set for you to use, a new life awaits.
The prosthesis fitting and use can be a tricky period. Many amputees are eager to start the fitting process and use their new prosthesis immediately. However, the fitting process has two phases: the temporary or preparatory prosthesis and the final or definitive prosthesis. Along with these phases are multiple considerations that you should keep in mind.
To keep you guided, here’s what to expect about fitting and using your prosthesis.
Temporary or Preparatory Prosthesis
The fitting for the new amputee starts when: (1) Swelling in the residual limb is under control, and (2) the suture line has healed, which typically takes four to six weeks after surgery.
Here’s what to expect:
- Your physician will prescribe a prosthesis once the limb has healed. Your prosthetist and insurance company (or other payers) will determine the time for a new prosthesis.
- Your prosthetist will examine and measure your residual limb. Along with this is setting your rehabilitation goals and the expectations you have for everyday life as a prosthetic user. Your prosthesis will take into consideration your lifestyle and will create a prosthesis that is fitting for your lifestyle and daily needs.
- The structure of prosthesis for upper or lower extremity includes: a socket that fits over the residual limb, a strap or harness to aid in suspension, a sleeve or liner that helps you put on the socket, and various components including pylons, rotators, manual and electronic joints (hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist), and a foot, hand or other terminal device.
- The socket is the most critical element in prosthetic design. It is where the prosthesis and the body connect. How the socket fits will affect how well you rehabilitate and recover.
Fitting the Temporary Socket
The next step in the process is creating a temporary socket. This applies to whether your prosthetist chooses traditional casting or scanning with Insignia. New amputees are expected to wear the temporary prosthesis for a few months as the residual limb continues to reduce in size and mature. On the other hand, people who have worn a prosthesis have a much shorter stage in the fitting process (typically for a few days to a few weeks).
Here’s what to expect:
- Your prosthetist will create test sockets to see how your limbs contact with them.
- Other components comprising your prosthesis will be added to the temporary socket soon after. They’ll be added as you can start to stand and walk or use your arm and hand. The temporary prosthesis does not usually have a cosmetic covering since adjustments have to be made continually as the residual limb decreases in size.
- Part of your recovery and rehabilitation process is engaging in physical therapy during and after the fitting process. Some people will also need to have occupational therapy. Your physical and occupational therapists will design rehabilitation plans that suit your lifestyle goals.
Final or Definitive Prosthesis
The last part of the process is the final or definitive prosthesis. Your prosthetist will decide when it’s time to cast the final or definitive prosthesis. New amputees are more likely to use the final prosthesis several months after surgery. The prosthetist needs to make sure that the size and shape of the residual limb have finally stabilized. Experienced prosthetic users will have their casting for the definitive prosthesis occur quickly.
Here’s what to expect:
- Your clinician will create a final custom socket and attach all other components of the prosthesis to it. Also, there will be options for a cosmetic covering. Prosthesis creation and fitting will require several visits and can take a few weeks to complete.
- The terms “final” or “definitive” prosthesis are not necessarily absolute. This means that no prosthetic leg or arm is going to last forever. A prosthesis can last anywhere from two to five years, depending on daily usage and activity level. In some cases, this mechanical device needs to be repaired. At times, only single components ought to be replaced rather than creating an entirely new prosthesis.
We hope we have shed some light on what to expect about using your prosthesis, whether it’s the temporary one or the final product. When you know what to expect, the entire process will be much easier than you’d expect.
Amputation may mean the loss of a part of your foot or some of your toes. However, it doesn’t mean that you lose the ability to live your life to the fullest. All it takes is considering its impact on your life, submitting to full recovery and rehabilitation, and relying on prosthetics to assist you in your life. For all you know, you can quickly bounce back to living your life soon after the surgery.
Here’s a guide to understanding what you can expect as a new partial-foot or toe amputee.
If you are a partial-foot amputee, below are some of the things to expect:
Amputation Considerations: The initial process is your surgeon determining how much of your foot should be removed. The process includes how much of the bone can still be preserved while still providing a cushion for prosthetics. Also, how the remaining muscle, skin, and nerves affect the quality of life and how balance and gait can be preserved when walking. Ultimately, this will result in better balance or more comfortable prosthetic options after the surgery.
Recovery and Rehabilitation: After the surgery, the recovery process and rehabilitation will be set in place. First, you will have regular appointments with your doctor to change the dressings and monitor your healing progress. Second, you will be given medications for the pain and to fight infection. Once the wound has healed, the rehabilitation program will start.
In other words, rehab is designed to help you adjust to a prosthesis and learn how to get around when not wearing one. First, you will start with a temporary prosthesis, before using a permanent prosthetic when the residual limb heals (usually within six months to a year). Second, you’ll have to push forward to walk without support. Before you know it, you will be able to resume normal daily activities such as walking, driving, and wearing conventional shoes with your prosthetic.
Partial-Foot Prosthetics and Shoes: When it comes to partial-foot prosthetics and shoes, they are usually custom-made. The goal is to fit your residual foot and provide you with the support lost from amputation.
One, you need shoe inserts or custom shoes. A partial-foot insert is a rigid footplate for a standard shoe with raised areas to fill in space where your amputation occurred. Custom shoes are made to provide the same function and additional support for your balance and motion. Second, you need custom-moulded foot prosthesis. This has been designed to replace the missing area of your foot. These prostheses include contoured arch supports and carbon fibre keels to provide weight-bearing and natural motion.
On the other hand, if you had a toe amputation, below are some important considerations:
Toes’ Effect on Balance: Your toes provide balance and support when walking. Chances are, losing one or more toes can impact your balance. Missing any of the three middle toes can significantly affect your walking.
Recovery and Rehabilitation: After surgery, the pain will significantly improve after a week. As for the swelling, it can take about a month for it to subside. That said, you may need to wear a cast or special shoes for about two weeks. During the whole process, you need to follow your doctor’s advice related to your bandages and care of the surgery area. Soon enough, you will begin to walk again and may notice an affected sense of balance, but it will improve in due time.
Toe Prosthetics: You may be required to use toe prosthetics if your balance remains an issue after rehabilitation. When it comes to a cosmetic replacement for your toe, there are options of prostheses available in the market. It can be made as rigid as required to give you additional support and balance while walking.
We hope this has shed light on what it takes to live after a partial-foot or toe amputation. You can expect its impact on the quality of your life. However, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s advice and keep up with the recovery and rehabilitation process. You don’t have to worry about prosthetics as they are custom-made and can help you live normally.
Diabetes can lead to leg infections that would require amputation to prevent blood poisoning that can threaten your life. If your leg has to be amputated because of diabetes, many feelings and thoughts must be racing through your mind. It is all right to be anxious, especially since you’ll know that your life will never be the same again without one leg.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) before diabetes foot amputation
Recovery begins before the amputation procedure itself. The mental and emotional trauma is already enough to visibly affect your health before the operation, which is why you need to undergo CBT sessions conducted by a psychologist. CBT sessions let you clear your thoughts and objectifies the necessity of surgery. It would also help you accept the inevitable and face a new life with one less leg while consolidating your sense of self-worth.
Recovery immediately after amputation
Your doctors and nurses will monitor your vital signs after your surgery. Once the levels have normalized, you would be taken out of intensive care and into a regular hospital room where you might have to stay for another week or more. The nurse will change your wound dressings and administer painkillers. A physical therapist or chiropractor will also begin assisting you in doing exercises meant to prevent numbness and muscle shrinkage. During your stay at the hospital, you can talk to a prosthetics professional about the artificial leg or foot you’ll be needing.
Recovery at home
Depending on the severity of your surgical operation, you can be discharged as early as one week. From then on, you’ll have to take the lead to care for yourself. Among the first things that you’ll have to get used to is walking on your prosthetic leg comfortably. Many first-timers tend to hop around, which harms the remaining leg. The legs of diabetes patients are especially vulnerable to infection and bleeding, which is why you have to be careful. Any wound or strain on your leg or tears could risk you a second amputation. A full-time physical therapist can help you regain mobility safely and effectively. However, if you don’t have the money to hire a full-time physical therapist, you would need to figure out how to move normally by yourself.
Only use medicine and painkillers your doctor recommended and avoid sweets. If you feel prolonged numbness on your stump or on the other leg, or if you experience bleeding or severe pain, call your surgeon immediately.
Dealing with side effects and complications
Foot amputations can cause real nerve pain and what is called “phantom foot pain,” where you feel pain from the amputated area. The body has gotten used to the existence of your foot, which is why the brain experiences phantom foot pain even after it’s physically gone. You might also have to undergo further surgery to remove and polish bone spurs left from your previous amputation. Acupuncture and pain medications are usually sufficient to help you cope with these issues. The phantom foot pain will eventually wear off on its own.
Mental health recovery
Losing a leg can physically and emotionally cause you to drop to the floor. Amputees can experience depression, denial, and suicidal feelings. Cognitive-behavioural therapy before and after the operation would help the patient cope with their situation. Having supportive friends and family can also help you move on from the ordeal. You can tell them what you feel and assist you in adjusting to your new lifestyle and a prosthetic leg.
Modern technology makes it much easier to handle disabilities with ease. Living with health problems no longer has to be as debilitating as it once was. In fact, some people are on track to remove the “dis” from “disabled.” From regenerative treatments to state-of-the-art exoskeletons, modern treatments have become a multi-billion dollar industry, catering to any type of case and challenging what was once speculated to be “impossible.” As impressive as these solutions may be, not all life-changing and innovative treatment options have to come with a whole range of bells and whistles; in fact, one solution that has made a difference in millions of lives for over a hundred years is the prosthetic limb.
The importance of choosing the perfect pair
Whether its purpose is to replace a missing hand, foot, arm, finger, or toe, prosthetic limbs and applications change lives on a daily basis, restoring a sense of normalcy to those who have lost a body part. While there’s no way to tell which type of prosthetic application is better than another, we can wholeheartedly say that a prosthetic foot is a modern treatment method that has been shown to invoke drastic changes in people’s lives within a short amount of time. To the surprise of most people, the hardest part of losing a foot aside from the actual amputation is choosing the best shoe to wear. If you think about it, shoes make a huge difference in whether or not a prosthetic limb can properly do its job. After all, the right footwear can make it possible for an amputee to engage in activities such as rock climbing, basketball, and hiking.
Buying shoes made easy
Although choosing the right shoe for a prosthetic foot might seem like a simple task, the truth is that many people make costly, time-consuming, and avoidable mistakes during the selection process. In order to make sure that you won’t run into any obstacles when selecting a shoe for your prosthetic limb, here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
1. Determine the cause of amputation
When people buy a pair of shoes for their prosthetic foot for the first time, they often make the mistake of failing to consider the cause of amputation. Different causes, such as diabetes, complications arising from vascular disease, and even frostbite can lead to different types of needs that have to be catered to in the surviving remnants of the limb. By shopping with the cause of amputation in mind, you’ll be able to determine which type of shoe can actually cater to your needs.
Shoes can be categorized according to their primary and secondary functions, making it much easier to find the perfect shoe to have around your feet. For example: diabetic patients with a prosthetic leg or foot need extra protection on their feet for their surviving foot because of the complications that might be brought about by wounds and ulcers.
2. Go for a pair that isn’t too loose, yet not too tight
One concept that is most applicable when buying shoes for amputees is the idea of balance and its importance in the purpose and comfort of a prosthetic limb. Shoes that are too loose can allow sliding to happen, which leads to further irritation and shearing as a result of regular movement. On the other hand, shoes that are far too small can cause blisters and reduced circulation— two conditions you definitely want to avoid if you have to have your foot amputated for health reasons. Aside from comfort, it’s important to have shoes that fit properly because stabilization can occur much easier, making for a more practical and functional experience with a prosthetic limb.
3. Make your shoes a perfect match with toe fillers
In some cases, prosthetic feet fail to come with toe mouldings that can be used to fill out the extra space in a shoe. Although they can work wonderfully at times, they can also lead to issues in walking due to crumpling in the upper shoe and a lack of a solid foundation to step on. Adding a toe filler can help preserve both your shoe and the prosthetic limb that fills it because chances of slippage and crumpling can be significantly reduced.
Limb difference is a condition when someone’s limb is different than normal. It can be due to developmental issues while the baby was in the womb, or it can be a result of an accident or disease. Congenital limb difference may be due to the amniotic fluid fusing the limbs of the fetus while it is developing. It can also be due to exposure to certain chemicals, viruses, medications, or tobacco smoking.
While people with a limb difference experience extra challenges compared to normal people, they are still active and can live normally like most people. A limb difference may make you look abnormal, but it should not prevent you from doing fun and exciting things.
Here are the types of limb difference:
Longitudinal limb difference
Longitudinal limb difference is characterized by a missing radius, fibula, or tibia. About 65 percent of this type of limb difference is associated with other disorders, such as TAR, Fanconi anemia, and Adams-Oliver syndrome. This can be treated through a surgical procedure, which involves amputating a part of a limb so that the child can use prosthetics.
Symbrachydactyly is the type of limb difference where a child is missing some bones of the fingers and hand, or some fingers altogether. It usually affects one hand only, and surgery can be performed to increase the functionality of the affected hand.
Oligodactyly is when a child has fewer than five fingers on the hand and toes on the foot. It often doesn’t need any intervention. In some cases, however, one or more central finger or toe is missing, making the hand or foot look like a claw.
Transverse limb difference
Transverse limb difference pertains to the condition where an entire section of a limb does not develop. Sometimes, surgery can be done to help the limb grow, while others go on wearing prosthetics.
Polydactyly refers to having one or more extra fingers or toes, also known as supernumerary digits. These can be surgically removed while the child is young.
Syndactyly is the type of limb difference where there is webbing or fusion of fingers or toes. A simple case is when soft tissues are fused, while an extreme case is when the bones are also fused. This condition can be treated through a surgical procedure during childhood to restore normal function.
Acquired limb difference
A traumatic accident, tumor, or infection can sometimes lead to young people losing a limb. This is called acquired limb difference. A child experiencing this receives treatment from medical, emotional, and rehabilitation professionals to ensure the best outcome.
Limb difference is a condition where a person is missing a part or a whole portion of a limb. Despite lacking a finger, a toe, an arm, or a leg, people with a limb difference can still live fully and enjoy an active life. Surgical operations can sometimes be done to improve functionality, and prosthetics can help them live a more mobile life.
After a successful amputation, a new life awaits you. It can be rather daunting having to face the future when you lose a limb. It will significantly affect you in terms of your ability to go about your daily routine, especially your mobility. Furthermore, even if your operation was a success, you’ll still have to undergo certain treatments, such as limb loss rehabilitation. Entering a rehabilitation program after an amputation is important. Its goal is to help you learn to use a prosthesis so you can perform and work as you normally would, as well as help you return to a high level of social integration. Here’s what you should expect when starting a limb loss rehabilitation program:
Collaborative Team Effort
You have to understand that successful rehabilitation is the result of a collective effort. Yes, you aren’t alone in this fight. You need a collaborative team that will help you overcome the situation. Your team will include your family, friends, physician, prosthetist, psychologist, and occupational therapist. You may also work with a physical therapist. All of them play a vital role in helping you overcome the emotional, mental, and physical challenges that come with this process.
Early Stages of Rehabilitation
Soon after your limb is amputated, you’ll have to begin the early stages of rehabilitation. Your physical therapist will play a pivotal role during the first few days. He’ll assist you during the first 24 hours. This includes helping you get positioned on the bed, moving you from the bed to your wheelchair, helping you balance while standing, as well as using crutches, wheelchairs and any upper extremity assistive devices. Aside from this, pain management is something to be looked into during the early stages. Your physical therapist will teach you how to wrap up your residual limb to reduce swelling. He’ll also help you promote healthy healing in your residual limb. This includes dynamic exercises that will strengthen it.
Lower Extremity Users
When it comes to lower extremity users, the primary focus is on lying down or sitting. Along with this is standing, which are aimed at reorienting your center of gravity. Weight-shifting exercises between parallel bars will help you displace your center of gravity forward, backward, and to the side. They will also help you practice putting weight on your prosthesis. Your physical therapist will assist you in putting it on and taking it off. Your physical therapist and your prosthetist will be working together throughout this entire process. In due time, you will be able to carry things, get in and out of a car, stand up and sit down, use the bathroom, and a whole lot more.
Upper Extremity Users
For upper extremity users, the focus is on maintaining or increasing the mobility of your joints. Therefore, strengthening exercises and pain management is crucial during the early stages. Various methods will be used to ease your pain, such as acupressure, acupuncture, electrical neural stimulation, massage, resistive exercise, and ultrasound. Your physical therapist will help you practice using your good hand for daily activities like eating, grooming, using the bathroom, picking up objects, writing, and many more. He will help you learn to use your teeth to carry out some tasks to make your life a lot easier.
It’s worth noting that rehabilitation after a successful operation entails a long-term intervention. Physical therapy is not just for new amputees or new prosthetic users. It has to be performed and evaluated every year or two for the rest of your life. This is to ensure optimum mobility and utmost comfort. In fact, people who continue going to therapy operate much better with their prosthesis. They become better walkers and movers in general. Therefore, a long-term intervention is necessary for a normal life for people with lower-limb disability.
In a matter of weeks, autumn would turn to winter, and in between that is Halloween. Prepare to have fun with kids and friends, even if you have one less leg. Thinking of and designing an authentic Halloween costume would be easier for you without one or both of your legs. However, to create the best Halloween costume, you need to start as early as now to prepare.
Halloween costume idea #1: Peg-leg pirate
This is the most obvious costume idea yet the most authentic, whether you want to amuse or horrify your guests, kids, and friends. You can search Google and look for Edward Teach or Mary Read as an inspiration for your costume. You can also be a simple pirate using the following materials:
- Pirate hat
- Long, dark coat
- Loose shirt
- Wooden toy gun
- Pegleg/s (essential)
You can search online for wooden pirate peg legs for sale. You can also try wrapping a brown paper around your prosthetic leg. Of course, nothing beats a peg leg than a prosthetic leg that you can decorate with fake gold and precious stones to showcase your plundered booties (pun intended). However, don’t forget the upper half of your body. You can grow a beard as early as now so that it is thick and rich as Edward Teach’s beard by Halloween season. Also, practice your pirate vocabulary and voice for a more convincing effect.
Halloween costume idea #2: Zombie
Not everyone can put on a compelling legless zombie costume, and that’s where you have the advantage. If there are people coming to the party who do not know you yet, they will be in for a big surprise when you dress up as a zombie. For this costume, you will need:
- Torn and dirty clothing
- Face makeup
- Novelty dentures
- Fake blood gel
Apply fake blood gel over your stump, as well as your mouth and parts of your body and clothing. For more frightening effect, you and your accomplices can set yourself behind a wall, refrigerator, or door and spring yourself open in front of the passerby. Those whom you scare would never forget you for the experience. There’s also the option of applying fake blood on your artificial limb and wearing torn shorts, while you emphasize the top part of your body through makeup. Roam around the streets and ask for treats and people would not have second thoughts giving them to you.
Halloween costume idea #3: Medieval torture victim with a dislocated leg
The Medieval Ages was a terrible time for criminal justice. If you were sentenced to be quartered and hanged, the authorities would dislocate you. You can recreate this horror scene convincingly using your remaining legs and papier-mache. Since this costume takes more work, you need to start early to finish it before Halloween. To make this costume, you need:
- Lots of old newspaper (cut into strips)
- Tissue paper
- Plaster of Paris
- Brown acrylic paint (or spray paint)
- Fake blood
- White long-sleeved shirt
- Torn pants (not jeans)
Using plaster of Paris, create a mould from your remaining leg or from a friend’s leg. Once the mould hardens, take it off and use it as a model where you can make your leg papier mache. Apply layers of glue and overlapping newspaper strips on the cast before applying another layer of tissue paper and glue for texture. Allow the “leg” to dry and harden for a week before painting it with brown acrylic or spray paint. In the party, you can remove your prosthetic limb, sit down on one corner and apply fake blood all over your stump and waist. Then arrange the leg to appear bent perpendicular to your waist. Your visitors would have no idea what’s in store for them when they come to your horror house.
Getting an amputation is a life experience that brings with it a whole series of changes and adjustments to accommodate the lack of a limb. It’s no surprise that adjusting to it can prove to be difficult for anyone who prefers living an active lifestyle. However, it’s important to know that your regular daily routine shouldn’t stop after amputation, even if a huge part of it consists of counting your calories.
Whether you’re a bodybuilder, someone who likes to examine what they eat, or you’re simply under strict dietary restrictions and standards, you may find it difficult to count your calories after an amputation. They can be affected heavily by the loss of a limb, especially if that limb had a lot of muscle.
You should know that having a certain amount of muscle will cause you to burn more calories. So if a certain limb with muscle is amputated, chances are your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) will decrease after amputation. In order to manually calculate the amount of calories that you’ll have to consume to reach your fitness goals, you’ll have to decide what your ideal body weight and total TDEE after amputation will be.
Steps to follow
Although it might seem a bit too complicated, you can actually adjust your caloric needs after amputation in a few simple steps:
STEP 1: Calculate your target body weight before the amputation
For men: The standard equation for calculating your ideal body weight is 106 pounds (for the first five feet of your height) plus 6 pounds for every inch above 5 feet (or minus 6 for every inch below). To illustrate, the ideal weight of a man who is 5 feet and 8 inches tall is 146 pounds.
For women: On the other hand, women should use 100 pounds for the first 5 feet, and then add 5 pounds for every inch above five feet (or deduct 5 pounds for every inch below 5 feet, inversely).
STEP 2: Determine the total amount of weight you lost after the amputation
You’ll have to refer to any medical records you had pre-amputation for your starting weight and weigh yourself after amputation. Subtract the former from the latter to get the total amount of weight that you lost. After getting the total amount of weight lost, divide your lost weight by your pre-amputation weight to get the total percentage.
STEP 3: Calculate your remaining body weight
With the amount of weight lost in percentage, subtract your post-amputation weight loss from 100 to get the total amount of weight that you have left.
STEP 4: Calculate your ideal body weight post-amputation
Once you’ve got the remaining percentage of body weight, convert that into decimal form and multiply it by your ideal body weight pre-amputation in order to get your ideal post-amputation weight.
STEP 5: Determine your Physical Activity coefficient based on your activity level
For men aged 19 and older: Your PA values are 1.0 if you have a sedentary lifestyle, 1.11 if you are slightly or lowly-active, 1.25 if you’re active, and 1.48 if you’re very active
For women aged 19 and older: The PA values you’ll have to follow are 1.0 if you’re sedentary, 1.12 if you’re low active, 1.27 if you have an active lifestyle, and 1.45 if you’re very active.
STEP 6: Calculate how many calories you’ll need to consumer to reach your goal
For men: The equation is as follows: 662 – (9.53 x age in years) + PA x [(15.91 x weight in kilograms) + (539.6 x height in meters)]
For women: The equation is as follows: 354 – (6.91 x age in years) + PA x [(9.36 x weight in kilograms) + (726 x height in meters)]
People who suffer from diabetes are vulnerable to a trifecta of trouble that can set the stage for amputations. Increasing numbness in the feet due to nerve damage, particularly diabetic neuropathy, can lead to foot ulcers as people may fail to notice any injuries inflicted. When the wounds are left unattended and fail to heal, it can then take a turn for the worse and lead to severe infections that may require diabetic amputations.
Fortunately, the number of lower limb amputations have decreased to 50% in the past 20 years, though they remain an ever-present problem as approximately 89,000 diabetic patients in the United States still undergo limb loss as of 2019.
What is Diabetic Neuropathy?
This describes the nerve damage that occurs as a result of high sugar levels, primarily affecting the feet, legs, and arms. This means that sensation is significantly reduced, leading to unnoticed injuries that can turn into ulcers or infections. Also, diabetes prevents injuries from healing entirely due to the reduced blood flow of diabetic patients. If left unattended, it can cause further complications with the tissue and cause the injured area to deteriorate, which may result in the need for amputation.
However, if the diabetic neuropathy is caught early, the symptoms can be managed, and you can prevent worst-case scenarios like an amputation. To that end, prevention is always better than cure, and the tips below should help you take proper care of your lower limbs to avoid any devastating mishaps in the future.
Tip #1: Inspect your feet daily
Take the time to regularly and carefully check your feet for blisters, cuts, cracks, sores, redness, tenderness, or swelling. If you find any calluses, corns, bunions, or warts forming, avoid removing them by yourself or adding any chemical removers. Instead, be sure to visit your doctor or a foot specialist as they will know how to properly remove any of these lesions without causing any lasting damages that can trigger your diabetic neuropathy. Also, if you are unable to reach your feet, opt to use a hand mirror to check the soles of your feet properly. Furthermore, if you need to cut your nails, be sure to be cautious and cut it straight across. However, it is better to ask a caregiver to do so, especially when you already have numbness in your feet.
Tip #2: Avoid smoking at all costs
Nicotine and the harsh chemicals included in tobacco impairs blood circulation and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This can worsen the state of your wounds and promote poor healing.
Tip #3: Don’t go barefoot
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people get injured just by walking around the house barefoot. Make sure to protect the bottom of your feet using soft slippers or at least some clean, dry socks that can help cushion your feet.
Tip #4: Schedule regular foot checkups
Even if you’ve managed to avoid any apparent injuries at home successfully, you need to stay vigilant and ensure that you schedule for regular foot checkups with your doctor or podiatrist. After all, these professionals have trained eyes to see for early signs of nerve damage, poor circulation, and other foot problems beyond your control at home.
Everyone needs to eat healthy, by consuming protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a modest amount of fats. Besides, adequate nutrition provides persons with an amputation a powerful emotional and mental boost they need to keep on living despite living through a difficult circumstance. While the nutritional needs of a person before and after amputation does not differ overall, there are slight yet essential differences in their nutrition strategy to maintain their wellbeing.
Amputees tend to gain weight more easily because they engage in less physical activity given their mobility challenges. If an amputee has no one with them to assist in buying ingredients for a healthy meal, shopping for food becomes a less practical option. Instead, they’ll choose to order fast food that could be delivered to their doorsteps in minutes. Depression can also lead them to overeat, which in turn contributes to weight gain. Side effects of medication that amputees consume as well as difficulties in adjusting to a new lifestyle can all cause weight gain.
Effects of weight gain on amputees
Additional weight can add stress on your prosthetics and reduce its comfort around the knees or joints. This would further discourage any exercise such as walking, which would further contribute to weight gain and prosthetics pain in an endless feedback cycle. Weight gain would also affect the amputee’s emotional outlook and self-esteem. Thus, they need to have their weight checked and managed by having a proper and balanced diet.
Meal plans for amputees
To ensure that you eat well and have well-chosen foods for each day, you and your loved ones will need to have a meal plan prepared. Having a meal plan ensures that you get the nutrition you need for each day while regulating the number of calories, cholesterol, fats, and carbs that you consume. Among the essential steps involved in the preparation and implementation of a meal plan include the following:
- Draft a weekly menu that takes into consideration your calorie needs. The ingredients you buy and eat in a day will depend on this menu.
- Foods rich in Vitamins C and E, protein, iron, and zinc should be given priority on your meal plan. These nutrients are essential in healing and tissue repair related to your amputation.
- Schedule a day in your week where you can go grocery shopping for healthy and fresh ingredients.
- Set aside a day of the week to prepare and pre-pack food rations for the whole week.
- Strictly portion your food into fixed amounts to prevent overeating. Pre-packing your meals for the week helps ensure portioning is enforced.
- Keep yourself well-hydrated at all times. Drinking plenty of water helps add to the feeling of fullness without the calories, fats, and carbs.
Talk with a registered dietitian who can help you come up with a meal plan that would give you the nutrition without the added weight. They might also refer you to a specialist who can design your meal plan for you, as well as the set of exercises and activities you need to do to keep your weight within healthy levels. These specialists will prepare your meal plan and exercises strategy according to your physical characteristics, medical circumstances, and specific needs.
If your mental and emotional health is affecting your capacity to plan your meal, you would need to set an appointment with a psychologist as well. They can help you not only cope with the mental and emotional trauma from your amputation, but they can also help you modify your behaviour to adjust to a new lifestyle that requires you to stick to a strict routine, which is your meal plan. Mind-body-meditations and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are some of the techniques they can use to help you achieve your nutritional needs.
After a successful amputation, there’s more in life that awaits you. It’s great to rise above the predicament. However, there’s many adjustments to do when you’ve experienced a limb loss. Taking one step at a time is essential, as you’ll soon progress into living a full, functional life.
One aspect that you should get used to is sock management. Sock management entails making use of prosthetic socks to control and improve the fit of your device to your body for optimum function and utmost comfort. Prosthetic socks are often added or removed to manage changes in limb volume.
In the next section, we’ll learn more about the importance of sock management, how sock management can be counter-intuitive, and how practice can make a difference for one to cope with a limb loss.
Importance of Sock Management
It’s essential to make use of socks when people with limb loss wear below-the-knee prostheses. Chances are they wear socks of different thickness. Ply is the term used to describe the thickness of a prosthetic sock. They come in different plys, which can be one-ply, three-ply, or five-ply. As an example, a five-ply sock is five times thicker than a one-ply sock. Also, it may mean that five one-ply socks are equivalent to a five-ply sock.
It’s worth knowing that a patient’s body fluid goes through the body and the legs swell up a little when taking off the knee prosthesis and lay on the bed. Now when the patient puts weight on the limb, the body fluid is being pushed up and down. This means that throughout the day, the residual limb shrinks. For this reason, how you make use of your prosthetic socks can somehow contribute to your weight-bearing, and device function, as well as your comfort.
Counter-Intuitive Sock Management
Sock management is counter-intuitive. It’s different when we make use of our socks than it is for limb-loss patients when they have to adjust the socks to fit their limbs and prostheses. When you’re wearing thick pair of socks, and they seem rather tight, chances are you may remove them and look for a less thick pair.
However, it’s different with limb loss. The residual limb is pressing deeper into the socket as pressure is applied to it since the limb is much smaller during the day. This is what makes the socket feels tighter. So the idea is to provide more layer which will serve as a buffer. Because of this, you might be adding another sock or opting for a sock with a higher ply.
Practice Sock Adjustments
As it is often said, practice makes perfect. As time goes by, you’ll eventually get used to your body rhythm. You will be more familiar with the patterns of your body and how your prosthesis fits throughout the day. Therefore, you can to listen more to the demands of your body and adjust the socks and device whenever necessary. Eventually, you’ll get used to using prosthetic socks and become better at sock management. As a result, you can walk better and experience comfort over time. Thanks to sock management and how it has greatly helped you in your journey to living a fuller, functional life amid your struggle!
There’s more to consider about living a life with limb loss. Sock management is just one facet of the overall equation. However, it makes a difference to know how sock management can impact your device, residual limb, and overall function. In the end, you deserve a better, functional life amid your limb loss, and sock management can make a great deal of difference!
Losing a limb can be traumatizing for most people, especially for those who are accustomed to going through their daily lives with a complete set. Losing a limb can be compared to a machine losing one of its critical parts to carry out tasks effectively. Unlike with a machine, however, this does not have to mean the end of everything else, but it can affect your overall functionality. The loss of a vital part of your musculoskeletal system won’t only hamper your ability to carry on with your daily routine but affect the rest of your body that’s slowly accustoming itself to functioning without the limb that you lost.
How you can get back on track
Although limb loss may affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally, there are several ways of getting back to normal life as soon as possible without the need for expensive treatments or surgeries. Fortunately, these simple, cost-effective tips can help you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel while adjusting to life as an amputee.
To help cut out the “dis” in disability for good, here are a few tips that you can follow to keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy as ever during the adjustment phase:
// Find a specialized physical trainer who can help you out
In cases like these, a physical trainer serves more than someone who can help you out with getting back on track to regular functioning with ease. Having a physical trainer also means having someone who can also guide you through the important steps towards facing all types of barriers.
Other than helping you with proper training, nutrition, and other related steps, a specialized physical trainer is also someone whom you can talk to when trying to living without a limb. Most physical trainers have worked with cases like yours, but that doesn’t mean that you’re any less special — it just means that they know how to approach your situation better. Experienced physical trainers will know all the right words to say whenever you feel hopeless. They can also help you build up mental resilience (aside from training your physical health).
// Head on over to the gym
While there might be fewer workouts that you can do, depending on which limb you lost, going to the gym is a perfect way to release tension. It’s always a good idea to help put all your negative energy into lifting weights and putting them down, especially because the fitness goals come along can with helping to mentally train yourself for the unshakable dedication and work to be instilled in your recovery process as an amputee.
Just like the process of building a better body, hitting the milestones of recovering from limb loss is all about patience, understanding, and perseverance. This can eventually aid in your overall recovery process and make the situation a lot easier to bear. Aside from spiritual and motivational needs, busting it out at the gym can help you find a stronger, more refined sense of confidence that you can wear proudly in the face of adversity, allowing you come out victorious every single time.
Two of the most important parts in prosthetic device setups are the liners and sleeves; you may not notice it, but they’re responsible for the softness and comfort that you experience during use. Prosthetic sleeves and liners are vital components in the suspension between layers and the ease of use of any prosthetic device or limb, which means they need to be given much care and maintenance once you start using them.
When prosthetic sleeves and liners aren’t maintained properly, they’re prone to becoming brittle and even cracking, which can result in you having to spend more to use your prosthetic limb without any discomfort. Aside from the brittleness and cracking, unmaintained prosthetic devices will begin to give off a funky smell that won’t go unnoticed, eventually falling apart much more quickly.
Given the delicate nature of the materials used, it’s essential to maintain your prosthetic devices regularly so that their usefulness can be prolonged, setting replacement day back a few more years (or decades, even).
How to maintain a prosthetic device properly
Prosthetics might seem like a pain to maintain, but it’s much easier than people think! Here are some essential tips that you can use to help keep your prosthetic device nice and clean while helping it last even longer:
Clean your prosthetic device regularly
Using a trusted high-quality cleanser to give your prosthetic device a thorough clean is important in ensuring that it will last longer in its usefulness. Leaving sweat and grime in your prosthetic device can result in aggravated skin irritation and result in even more problems than you can handle. Those irritations can range from sores, allergies, red skin, and even strange smells. If you don’t have a pH-balanced or special prosthetic cleaner, gentle compounds like baby shampoo will do the trick to help keep your device in tip-top shape.
After applying a gentle solution on your cleaner, use your hands and rub and wash it on the gel and fabric of the prosthetic liner until it forms foams. If you want a deeper clean, use a soft brush (like a toothbrush) to help get in tight spots such as your prosthetic liners and sleeves. Once you’re satisfied with the result, wash the foam off with warm water until all the soap comes off.
Pass on the animal-based skin care products
Using skin care products that contain any animal oil, animal fat, or hydrocarbon oil will cause your gel liners and prosthetic sleeves to break down quickly due to their chemical content. It would be best for you to settle for other alternatives that don’t contain any similar materials. Examine the product ingredients that you use on your skin by checking the list in the label to ensure that those items are free of animal products.
Use prosthetic wipes
If you don’t have time to clean your prosthetic sleeves and liners thoroughly, specially-formulated prosthetic wipes are perfect for maintaining your prosthetic sleeves, liners, and the device itself. This is perfect for when you’re travelling or on the go! Using prosthetic wipes that are pH-balanced and alcohol-free will help with the maintenance of your device and skin. It will also reduce the occurrences of unwanted odours during use!
After a successful amputation, a new life awaits those who will be living with prosthetic limbs. Sure, living with prosthetic can be quite challenging. If you are a lower-limb prosthetic user, you need to adjust to having a new mechanical part of your body. Over time, the prosthetic is said to become an extension of your body. Getting there, however, is a challenge.
Thus, the use of prosthesis involves a 50/50 effort between you and your prosthetist. Even longtime wearers of a prosthesis can sometimes experience minor setbacks. The new ones may also find it hard to adjust. Not to mention the many prosthetic considerations to take note of — from wearing to cleaning to maintaining your prosthetic and your condition.
That said, here are five things that you need to remember when wearing a prosthetic. It pays to be wary of these considerations and not to take your prosthesis for granted.
Have a Regular Checkup with Your PCP
First off, it’s crucial to have a regular checkup with your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Visit your general doctor at least once every six months. This is in order to discuss the condition of your residual limb. You will also need to check the function of your prosthesis with your doctor. If there is something that bothers you such as new prosthetic needs (For instance new liners, socks, or shrinkers), your prosthesis no longer fitting, or certain discomfort or instability, tell your doctor. This is so he or she can immediately act on it by writing a prescription for you.
Visit Your Prosthetist
Apart from your regular PCP, visiting your prosthetist at least every six months is equally important. You should do this even if you think nothing is wrong. That being said, if you notice that something feels off with your limb or prosthesis, schedule an appointment with your prosthetist immediately. You can do this even in between scheduled visits to your prosthetist.
Check Your Medical Insurance Coverage
It pays to be informed about your medical insurance coverage. Whether you are covered by private healthcare insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, you need to understand the terms of your insurance coverage. There may be corresponding deductibles or copays that apply; hence, you may have to shell out some money. Some medical insurance packages do not include prosthetics as a covered benefit. Thus, you may have to buy a secondary coverage policy so that more of your prosthetic expenses are covered since you will be using them for your lifetime.
Know Your K-level
Furthermore, it is imperative that you know what your K-level is. You also have to determine how it affects the components your prosthetist can use when fabricating your prosthesis. The K-level is employed to test the amputee’s mobility level used throughout the medical insurance community. This level can be determined by your PCP and/or by your prosthetist. The levels can range from K-0 to K-4, with the latter indicating a very active or athletic individual.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Finally, what better way to ensure prosthetic function and your health condition than to maintain good personal hygiene? This is particularly very important for lower-limb amputees, knowing that it relates to your limbs and entails daily cleaning of the inside of your liners. That said, pay particular attention to your sound foot and leg. Be wary of dry skin, blisters, and ulcers which can lead to infections. Taking such infections for granted may lead to another amputation surgery. It’s always best to maintain a level of cleanliness throughout your body.
In today’s fast-paced society, driving is arguably the most reliable way for one to go from one place to another. Whether you’re buying groceries or going to work, driving your personal car is extremely convenient.
For people who have suffered from limb loss, however, the ability to continue driving their own car as the primary means of transportation may seem impossible. Fortunately, it is more than possible for people to drive with a prosthesis today. This article will outline what it means to drive with a prosthesis.
Overview of Prostheses
Losing a limb – whether from an accident or a medical condition – can be traumatizing. A prosthesis is an artificial device used to replace a missing limb, which is designed to help amputees with their everyday activities, making it easier for them to function.
There are various types of prostheses available today, including passive prostheses and functional prostheses. Passive prostheses are generally used for purely cosmetic purposes whereas functional prostheses are devices designed to assist amputees with daily tasks.
Getting a Driver’s License
Before an amputee can attain a driver’s license, there are many steps involved in the process. The one thing that every amputee must do is to inform the driver’s license agency about the change to their medical condition. In general, an amputee must visit an assessment center to see if their vehicle has to go through any structural modifications.
This is to ensure the safety of the driver and every passenger in the car. After that, the amputee has to retake a driving test to further test the amputee’s ability to drive in a safe manner. If amputees wish to continue driving, they are allowed to do so, given that they have passed the test and the necessary modifications to the vehicle have been made.
Getting Vehicular Modifications
As mentioned, there are cases that the vehicle needs to be modified in order to fit with the amputee’s special needs. Hand controls can be added such as hand brakes, accelerators, and steering knobs that help to ensure safe driving. For some amputees, some components have to be moved around for ease of use as well. For example, the gas and brake may have to be switched to the left side of the floorboard instead. Necessary upgrades can also be made, such as an upgrade to the turn signals, windshield wipers, and others.
Driving Regulations For People With Prostheses
The ability to drive a vehicle should not be reserved only for people with all of their limbs. Driving a vehicle is a necessary means of transportation for amputees just as much as everyone else. Luckily, most countries have policies and regulations regarding driving with a prosthesis, showing the acknowledgement that all prosthetic patients are also able to drive just as well as others. If you’ve recently gotten a prosthesis limb, you should not be discouraged to stop driving. Remember – losing a limb doesn’t mean that you have to stop living your life.
Going through an amputation surgery and learning to perform daily tasks with a prosthetic limb are difficult for everyone. When it comes to the recovery process, everyone copes in a different way and recovers at a different rate. You may take more time to adjust to a prosthesis than others would, but that is perfectly fine. The most important thing is to remember that your family, friends, and counsellor are always there to support you throughout your journey to living a happy, fulfilling life.
Regardless of what age somebody is or what their day by day conditions are, everybody experiences difficulty in sleeping every now and then. It’s a vicious cycle—even the food you ate before going to bed can result in a sleepless night.
Sleeping soundly is especially challenging for individuals who’ve gone through limb loss. Over 1.6 million Americans have gone through this misfortune, and even if not all of them are wearing a prosthetic limb, all of them can experience sleeping issues.
In this article, we’ll share with you some tips on how you can get a comfortable and sound sleep every night. These will also help ensure that your prosthetic limb fits you well for many years to come.
Shower in the Evening
If you’ve been used to taking your shower in the mornings, you should think about switching up your daily schedule after getting and wearing your prosthetic limb. The heat from your morning shower can cause your limb to swell. As a result, your prosthetic limb might not fit you well. This can cause a significant level of discomfort throughout the entire day. So, we recommend showering in the evening so the swelling won’t bother you.
Wear Your Prosthetic Limb Before Sitting Up From Sleep
Following the same logic, when you wake up, it’s not wise to sit up and throw your legs to the side of the bed without wearing your prosthetic leg first. This is because while sleeping, your entire body relaxes: your organs, bones, and body fluids also slept. When you wake up and sit up, the body fluid will flow down to your legs when you throw them to the side right after getting up from sleep.
Put on your prosthetic leg while still lying down, so that when you sit or stand up, your leg would have already adjusted to the prosthetic limb’s opening.
Skip the Pillow Between the Legs
Sleeping with a pillow between the legs is very comfortable and some people love doing it. However, doing so is not advisable for individuals who’ve had an above-the-knee amputation. Putting a pillow between your thighs while sleeping can lengthen your inner thigh muscle while shortening your outer thigh muscle. Over time, these changes may affect how your limb lays during the day or while you’re standing with your prosthetic limb(s) on. This may result in pain.
Another related complication is the development of hip flexion contracture. In this condition, the hip is unable to completely straighten up, causing a patient discomfort every day.
Follow Stretching Recommendations
You can expect your physical therapist to teach you stretching exercises that you should do every day. You should particularly prioritize stretches that allow you to extend and strengthen your legs and hips. Do the stretches in the morning so that you’ll be ready for the entire day.
Following those stretching recommendations will help you to feel comfortable while sitting, standing, walking, lying down, and sleeping.
Figuring out how to live comfortably with a prosthetic limb may take a while, and an individual’s experience will always be different from that of another amputee. These tips are just some of those that you can follow and practice to ensure that you go through this journey as comfortably and safely as possible.
When people travel, they can experience stress from the new environment they are placed in. This is true for everyone, but especially true for amputees. In a humid climate, everyone would get sweaty just as most would experience dry skin in arid places. However, some types of travel stress are unique to amputees. Eating salty food such as chips or seafood during travel can result in swelling in an amputee’s residual limb. It might also require more time to walk up a road or trail towards a mountaintop, but the effort would be worth the panoramic view.
While there are some challenges beyond your control when traveling as an amputee, you can still enjoy a fun and safe trip by planning properly and preparing a travel kit for your needs. Here’s what you’ll need to know about traveling as an amputee:
Before Your Trip
There will inevitably be challenges in terms of mobility and comfort. Therefore, you might want to inform yourself of any facilities near or within your destination that are friendly to amputees like you. Does the inn or hotel where you plan to stay have elevators? You can also ask a travel agency to assist you in finding the kind of transport appropriate to your needs as a person with a disability.
Before you go out on a trip, make sure that you check if the components of your prosthetic are still working the way they should. If you notice any loose parts, cracks, or abnormal sounds, have your prosthetist fix these problems so that you will avoid the hassle when you’re camping in the wilderness or going to a locality far from any prosthetist who could assist you in emergencies.
Packing Your Travel Kit
If you will be traveling to go to a warm or humid place, you need to consider how the climate will affect you and your residual limb. Perspiration makes your stump vulnerable to abrasions and can make you smell bad. It’s a good idea to pack antiperspirant sprays or roll-on products to control your sweat and avoid embarrassment. You can also bring body powder from your prosthetist to keep your stump dry.
It’s important to bring moisturizing creams and lotions to keep your skin fresh against dry and sunny environments such as the golf course or the beach. Odorless creams are preferable as scented moisturizing creams may have other substances that can irritate your skin. Your prosthetist can give or recommend skin lotions that you can apply over your stump to prevent sores.
Antiseptics and unscented body soap are two more things your amputee travel kit should contain to keep your skin clean and free from bacteria. The complimentary soap in your hotel might be too harsh on your skin, so use your own.
You should also bring a cleanser for your prosthetic limbs. Use it when wiping your prosthetics’ sockets, liners, and suspension sleeves to keep them free from dried sweat and bacteria. Just make sure to choose a cleaner that suits the material your prosthetic is made from. You can ask your prosthetist for advice on the matter.
Sores and minor wounds may develop during your trip. Therefore, it helps to have antibiotic ointments at hand so you can immediately treat these wounds or sores should they occur. Trekking and hiking can also stress your limb and can bring about abrasions or blisters. You should have skin dressing in your kit just in case blisters and abrasions form.
Those who have recently undergone their amputation operation may find it difficult to maintain proper posture. They may also hop instead of taking the time to place their prosthetic leg in the right position. These problems, including the improper fitting of prosthetics and loose sockets, can lead to pistoning on the stump area. Pistoning can reduce the suction at the place where your limb and leg meets, making it more difficult to move. The skin around the residual limb can also become scratched and feel painful. Include extra socket padding and suspension sleeves in your kit to mitigate the effects of pistoning.
When you have a limb amputated, a new life awaits you. The adjustment period can be quite challenging to get through. With proper self-care and plenty of support from family and friends, however, you can certainly rise above the predicament.
Following your operation, your recovery should not be too much of a struggle. In order to enjoy a smooth transition period until the time you start using your prosthetic, you need to be wary of your post-operative tasks as part of your new daily routine. This includes caring for your post-op wounds. Following the directions given by your medical or prosthetic professional is extremely important. This is to ensure successful definitive closure of your wounds as a way to full recovery.
That being said, here is what you need to know about taking care of your post-operative amputation wounds:
Taking Care of Amputation Wounds
Now that we’ve established the need to take care of your amputation wounds after the surgery, let’s get into the specifics. The following are the essential steps to caring for your amputation wounds:
- Changing your wound’s dressings should be done on the regular. Do this especially when the dressings become soiled, show leakage, begin to come undone, or get dislodged. Make sure that you wash your hands with soap or sanitize them before you come in contact with your wounds. With clean hands, you can go ahead and properly wrap your wound with soft compression dressings.
- Any pins or devices used to maintain bone alignment or fracture healing should be sterilized during the cleaning process. As you prepare for the closure of any residual wound and the introduction of prosthetics, you will need to change your wound-care routine slightly. Your gauze dressings will have to be changed no less than twice every day. The adhesive strips will eventually fall off naturally. Use compression dressings to aid the healing of the wound. These need to be reapplied throughout the day to maintain compression.
- Finally, prepare the area of prosthetics. When doing so, caring for your skin is crucial. Wash it daily with soap and water. Dry it completely before applying bandages. Make sure it doesn’t become sweaty as this might lead to a skin infection. Always examine your skin for possible redness, ulceration, tearing, or other signs. You want to avoid any potentially serious issues at all costs.
Tips for Wound Care
Taking care of your post-operative wounds is no easy task. However, if you have given it much thought and properly studied the protocols in doing so, it won’t be too much of a hassle. Eventually, it will become a routine that you can simply execute on a regular basis. That being said, here are some tips that might come in handy regarding wound care:
- Notify your doctor of any ingrown hairs as these may affect infect the area of a wound
- Avoid shaving near the wound.
- Refrain from using any lotions or creams on your wound, unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Use a prescription sunscreen when exposed to sunlight.
- Be careful with hot water, as your limb may be sensitive to changes in temperature.
- When traveling, pack plenty of extra bandages, clothing, and wipes.
- Don’t shy away from pain management – medications are prescribed for a reason. That being said, do not overuse them.
- Enhance the careful care of your wounds with a healthy diet, vitamins, and supplements to facilitate the healing process.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1,500 babies with upper limb reductions and 750 with lower limb reductions are born in the United States every year. This implies that approximately 4 out every 10,000 babies are born with such defects. The question is, what difference does it make for physically challenged children who are growing up with congenital limb difference or without limbs at all?
There is no doubt that such children have to overcome a set of unique challenges that those with normal physical development will never need to. And as parents, it’s important to provide the needed support in helping these kids rise above such predicaments. Laying the groundwork for confidence is essential in helping your kids navigate their interactions with others and reinforcing their self-esteem.
However, here’s a fascinating fact: A recent study shows that children with upper limb difference actually have better emotional health and sense of emotional balance. This was presumed to be because they have to deal with more judgments than other children. They learn to take criticism and deal with it. They also become better communicators.
In spite of this seemingly positive response of physically challenged children, there is a number of those who have gone or are going astray. Parents must be wary of how to deal with their children. A steady emotional development approach should be in place. Here’s a simple emotional development guide for physically challenged kids, particularly for those with upper and lower limb reductions:
Encourage your child to communicate about small things and big things
It’s crucial for parents to maintain an open door policy with their kids. They should encourage their children to communicate about their whereabouts and daily interactions. This will help you determine if your little has encountered challenging situations that they need help processing. It’s important that you know if your child has been teased bullied so that you can observe how they respond to such a situation.
To keep an open line of communication, avoid asking open-ended questions such as ‘did you have a good day?’ Instead, ask specific questions such as how their day went, who they met, and what had happened during different parts of the day.
From there, you will be able to determine whether there are concerning issues that your child has been struggling with – teasing and bullying, for instance. From there, you can indirectly ask what emotional impact it has and see how your child manages to cope. Then, you can acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings, assisting them through the situation and ensuring that they come out stronger than ever.
This approach will help your child maintain a sense of emotional balance. He or she will be more understanding and mature when having to deal with such situations. At the same time, he or she will be able to defend himself, overcome challenges, and deal with them victoriously.
Teach your child to control their emotional responses
It’s important as well that you teach your child to manage their emotional responses with people when confronted with seemingly unfavourable situations.
People will inevitably have opinions that they voice. Children, as young as they are, might have the tendency to judge, tease, and even bully a physically challenged child. While we cannot control the way that people see and deal with us, we have a say in how we respond to them. An old adage says, “do not get upset with people or situations; both are powerless without your reaction.”
Of course, this is not easy at all. The usual response is to fight back either verbally or physically. There will be an outburst of anger. Given that, your role as a parent is to teach your child to have a deeper understanding of people and take them as they are. Teach your child to breathe and even brush off feelings when confronted with a difficult situation. Let him or her take some time to understand the situation and accept their condition. By doing so, he or she can simply laugh at the situation and let it go.
Help your child build good interpersonal relationships
Finally, building good interpersonal relationships is essential to your child’s growth and translates into him or her becoming a better adult.
This all begins with confidence. You need to boost your child’s self-esteem. The first thing you can do is help them accept his or her differences. Then, it’s just a matter of letting them discover what they are capable of doing. Encourage your child to join art classes, or even learn music or dance, depending on what interest they have and what hidden talents can be unleashed.
With confidence and good self-esteem, your child will not shy away from people. He or she will learn to mingle with people, despite physical differences. He or she will learn to establish rapport with strangers and acquaintances. In time, he or she will learn to build good interpersonal relationships with people. This way, your child will be able to gain friends and live life just as any other kid does.
Whether you were born without limbs or lost them in an accident, you still have to go on with your life. It is understandable for you to feel discouraged because you will never be able to live the kind of life that other four-limbed people are able to. It is ok to feel the pain of this reality.
There’s no doubt that it takes time to get over the fact that you are missing a part of your body that other people have. However, you cannot let yourself drown in grief forever. Turn that anger and confusing emotion into your motivation to live your life at its fullest potential. Accept the fact that your arms or legs are never going to grow back and find a solution for it. Many amputees can live without obstructions when they move forward with their lives.
If you still want to have four limbs again, however, you may choose to get prosthetic devices. Prosthetic limbs not only allow you to walk and grab things, but they can also improve your quality of life. If you are an amputee who has yet to invest in a prosthetic limb, here are a few reasons why you should get a device:
It gives you a new lease on life
If you’ve recently lost a limb due to an accident or illness, chances are that your perspective on life veers to the negative. Perhaps you have quite a few questions running through your mind – why did things have to turn out this way? Why did it have to be you anyway? Most of the amputees who get prosthetic devices find themselves with a new lease on life. They can get rid of the negative mentality and see life in a more meaningful way. Although having a prosthesis is undoubtedly not the same as having real arms and legs, you need to stop sweating about small things and focus on the bigger picture. You’re still alive! Now, live the life you have to the fullest.
It allows you to perform a greater range of activities
Without your limbs, you may not be able to do some of the activities that you used to do. If you are passionate about skiing or bicycling, don’t give up on your hobbies just yet. Prosthetic devices give you an opportunity to go back to those things, allowing you to enjoy your passions once again. Keep in mind that you might not be able to perform extreme movements. However, you can still enjoy many other activities with your prosthetic limbs to fulfil your needs.
It increases your mobility
The purpose of having prosthetic arms and legs is to make it easier to move around. People who lost their legs, in particular, have to struggle quite a bit when it comes to mobility. Fortunately, once you get a prosthetic device, you will be able to move your body more and live normally again.
It boosts your self-image
Some patients are insecure about their self-image due to missing their arms and legs. They might feel like an alien because they look different from the others. If you want to gain back the self-confidence and boost your self-image, getting prostheses is the best option. Nowadays, nobody is going to look at amputees with prosthetic limbs like aliens anymore.
Many patients are proud of their device and even show them off to the others. You may also get your prosthetic limbs customised with designs of your choice. Now that you have better self-image toward yourself, you will see an increase in your quality of life.
When you lose a limb, it isn’t uncommon to have a difficult time adjusting to normal life again. A lot of amputees feel as if all hope is lost and the idea of enjoying physical activities again seems impossible. However, regardless of common belief, people who have lost a limb or more than one can still engage in various activities and sports – extreme ones included!
There are several ways that amputees who love skiing and mountain activities can find a way to enjoy the mountains just as much as anyone else can. This article will address some of the ways that amputees can ski as well as engage in other mountain activities.
Depending on the level of amputation and condition of an amputee, the extent to what can be achieved will vary. One can ski using one ski and outriggers for balance or opt to ski in a sit-ski instead. Other things that can help amputees ski include the use of a prosthesis, an orthosis, or both. Here are the basic details about the two:
A prosthesis is an artificial device that can be used to replace a missing body part. It can serve both a functional and a cosmetic purpose. With a well-adjusted prosthesis, your body can maintain balance, thus preventing strain on other anatomical structures. If a prosthesis is to be used for skiing, it is crucial for the device to be designed or adjusted specifically for the sport. Keep in mind that it can be quite a challenge for amputees – particularly children – who are still adapting to their prosthesis to work with special skiing prosthesis. That being said, it is more than possible and the use of skiing prostheses should not be discouraged.
An orthosis is an apparatus that, in many ways, can help to support a part of the body. It can compensate for a missing limb, stabilize joints, and substitute for missing muscular activity. Again, an orthosis should be specially designed for skiing for it to function well. Moreover, it is very important that each amputee’s situation is carefully assessed before they are cleared to ski with an orthosis.
In the end, it all comes down to your unique condition when choosing the right method. It is important to remember that it can take some time to get used to the new device, especially when you are engaging in these kinds of extreme sports. You will have to experiment with different methods and ways to ski before you find one that is the most suitable one for your condition. With that said, it is always a great idea to find an instructor to guide you through the process and help you figure out the best way for you.
Moreover, you can seek advice from fellow amputees who are going through the same experience as well. Their input on skiing methods and equipment will be invaluable, and more importantly, you will realize that you are not going through this alone. Again, you have to understand that everyone has a varying degree of amputation. This means that what works for other amputees may not necessarily be the best thing for you. Still, it is helpful to know that you have options as well as opportunities to find out which option is the best for your case.
There’s no doubt about it – being an amputee is hard. Loving a limb can affect your quality of life significantly and even prevent you from engaging in the activities you love. Driving, for one, is a necessary part of life for many of us.
When that ability to commute independently is stripped away, individuals often feel helpless and that they don’t have much control over their own lives. Fortunately, there are adjustments one can make to a car to allow amputees to drive. In this article, we will discuss the specifics of modified vehicles for amputees and how you can make these adjustments on your own.
How a Vehicle Can be Modified for an Amputee
For an individual with both legs amputated, a modified car would have an option to control the accelerator, brakes, and clutch with your hands instead of your feet. An amputee who only has a left leg may shift the pedals to the left side to allow them to control the car, even without the help of their right.
An amputee with only their right arm may be allowed to shift the hand brake to the right side of the seat instead of it being in the middle. The opposite is true for the countries that drive on the opposite side of the road. Additionally, light controls may be moved to where the driver is most comfortable with.
Some people prefer to use their feet to control their lights and windows while others may prefer to add a switch to the steering wheel. If the driver has no arms, however, they may be able to drive with a joystick modification that allows them to steer the car using the side-to-side shifting of the stick. The door may be adjusted to ensure that the driver can get out of the car quickly if necessary. For example, if the driver doesn’t have a right arm, the door hinge may be moved to the gearbox area instead. Lastly, additional features may be added, such as a steering nob, rotating seat, or even a permanent socket to place your amputated limb in which can act as the hand on the steering wheel. If you need to be in a wheelchair at all times, you can even remove the driver’s seat completely and replace it with a wheelchair holder!
The Costs of the Operation Can Vary
If you are looking to purchase a vehicle as an amputee driver, you have to be certain that the car model is able to be modified and adjusted to meet your needs. Additionally, it is imperative that you work with a professional mechanic shop that is licensed to carry out the operation. Many people expect the process to cost a considerable amount of money. However, this does not always have to be the case, as it will depend on how many adjustments the shop has to make. If the project requires a complete overhaul of the gearbox, the steering wheel, and the foot pedals, the cost may be extremely high. On the other hand, if you only need a few minor modifications done, the costs are often quite manageable.
Drivers with a weakened or missing leg may benefit more from using a vehicle with an automatic transmission system, as that will reduce the workload that the leg has to endure. Excluding the clutch from the equation will allow the driver to drive comfortably for long hours. You should keep in mind that it is crucial to consider your condition when adapting a car, as it will have a significant effect on your safety and comfort while you drive. It’s best to consult a professional to understand the extent of legal boundaries when it comes to the adjustments. This ensures that you avoid breaking the law unintentionally.
If you have a friend or family member with an amputated limb, you might be curious as to how a prosthetic limb can stay attached to the wearer’s stump. Perhaps you’ve even asked. The answer is simple: a suspension system. When the prosthetic socket is created, there are two factors that they have to consider: the shape and construction of the socket as well as the system that secures the prosthetic to the limb. There is no one suspension system that can work for every prosthetic. Rather, the prosthetist will determine the system that will work best for each patient’s individual situation. Here are three types of suspension systems that they may consider:
The anatomic suspension system is used on the Patellar tendon-bearing socket. This method works with the help of anatomic structures to keep the prosthetics on. It is commonly used by amputees who have below-knee or knee disarticulation limbs. The below-knee prosthetic suspension, or Supracondylar suspension, has widened medial and lateral socket walls. It can fit snugly above and against the medial condyle. Other anatomic suspensions often use congenital protuberances when the residual limb is fully healed and will not be undergoing any more changes.
Strap, belt, and hinge suspensions
Strap, belt, and hinge suspensions can be considered old school systems. These suspensions are used when an anatomical suspension is not a possibility. The strap suspension comes with a waist belt. When the amputee puts it on, they can adjust the prosthetic easily. This is why a strap suspension is recommended for those who have had an amputation surgery due to the residual limb volume changes. For those with below-knee amputations, a suprapatellar cuff is an excellent choice because it surrounds the thigh and connects to the socket with straps.
This cuff is often used with a waist belt, but some patients can wear the cuff without the belt. In some cases, patients will be prescribed a thigh corset with metal side joints when their residual limb cannot take the weight-bearing load. Although a Silesian belt utilizes suction, there are other suspensions for those who can’t use it such as an elastic suspension belt as well as a hip joint and pelvic belt.
When it comes to suspension for upper-extremity prostheses, many methods can be used including suction, close fit around anatomy, liner, harness suspensions, and a combination of these. Harness suspension systems can be put on and taken off without any struggles. The downside, however, is that it can create a major restriction on an amputee’s range of motion. Many people also report experiencing discomfort due to the rubbing of the straps. Pure suction is a great suspension method since it does not need a harness for body control.
Gel liner is very functional for above-elbow and below-elbow systems. It is suitable for amputees who are highly active. For patients with short-to-medium transhumeral and transradial limbs, a pin and shuttle lock would be sufficient. This option is light, and the patient does not have to deal with a suspension sleeve with this option. In contrast, for long transradial and wrist disarticulation limbs, a lanyard system may be a better option. This works by connecting the liner to the socket with the help of a strap, ensuring that the prosthetic stays on without problems.
When it was discovered in the 1950s that human bone was capable of being integrated with titanium, the finding made the biggest impact on the dental industry. In 1995, however, doctors began to use this technology on leg amputees. During surgery, titanium could be implanted into the bone of a patient’s leg, directly connecting the prostheses. This eliminated the need for socket prostheses, which have been known to cause irritation, swelling, and inflammation caused by friction. The implant technology made it easier for amputees to travel for longer distances without discomfort. Osseointegration is a safe technique that allows amputees to increase their mobility and live a higher quality of life after the recovery period.
The osseointegration process
Patients will need to consult their osseointegration outpatients’ clinic about a time and date for their assessment as well as schedule a meeting with a psychologist and a specialist. You will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire. Once your evaluation is finished, all examinations, as well as additional checks, will need to be carried out to completion, and you will need to have paid for at least half of the procedure so that your surgery can be scheduled. If you are flying for this procedure, you will want to book your flight and accommodation as soon as you get your surgery date. You will want to book your stay for about 4 to 6 weeks, which is how long it may take to get all the procedures and care done that you need. When you return to your home country, you will be able to get check-ups via telephone, Facetime, or Skype. Any follow-up x-rays and other images can be done right in a facility in your home country and added to your online patient file in order for your specialists to assess your case anywhere in the world.
The actual surgery
The day before the surgery, you will need to report to the hospital in order to get another medical checkup and clear up any other existing questions you might still be having. When the surgery happens the next day, the surgeon will be integrating the implant into your bone by making an incision to your where the pin will come out in order to connect it to the prostheses. Post-surgery will involve visits twice a day for about 3 to 5 days in a nursing ward. Images of the stump will also be taken after surgery.
Going through rehabilitation
After going through the nursing period, the patient will have to move to a hotel where they will get daily rehabilitation, which involves a physiotherapist twice a week for 2 hours. In this time, you will be strengthening muscles needed in order to get used to the new prosthetic. After rehabilitation is finished, the prosthesis will be adjusted and gait training will begin. This will also be supervised by a psychologist if needed. After gentle rehabilitation and rebuilding of the bone, muscle, and strength in the stump, in the span of a couple of years, amputees should be able to engage in more intensive activities, if they please. That being said, there are some activities that are discouraged due to the increased risk of a bone fracture.
Requirements for osseointegration
Although the applications of osseointegration are still in development, you may want to find out if you are even eligible to get the procedure done. Amputees must be physically mature and must fall under the selection criteria. Typically, this just requires a physically and mentally healthy person without diabetes or a circulatory system disease. Patients who undergo this surgery must stop smoking for 3 months prior to the surgery and will be disallowed to smoke immediately after the treatment as well.
The word “Osseointegration” is made up of the Greek word “osteon,” meaning bone, and integration, which has to do with how the process of osseointegration goes. It is an alternative method which involves joining a prosthetic limb to an amputee’s body. There are two stages to this surgical procedure.
The first stage involves a titanium implant called a fixture to be inserted into the morrow of the residual limb’s bone. Over time, the fixture will become integrated with the bone. This may take up to half a year, but once the fixture has become part of the bone, an abutment, which is a titanium extension will be attached to that fixture and will then be brought out through the skin and soft tissues.
The prosthesis will then be able to attach right to the abutment. Both stages of this surgery will require a strict rehabilitation program in order to ensure a successful outcome. This whole process will allow for the gradual progression of weight on the prosthesis in order for amputees to get used to the integration of the prosthetic implant itself. This will prevent fracture or other excessive forces on the implant in the case of falling.
Advantages that Come with Osseointegration
Osseointegration means that there is no socket. Therefore, there is also no sweating or other irritations to the skin that might come with the socket. A socket will often also cause pain, pressure, and discomfort as well. The prosthesis will be easier to slip in and out of, will have great suspension, and will not restrict hip movement while allowing comfortable sitting positioning. Overall, osseointegration will feel a lot more natural and will allow you to increase your muscle mass. However, there are some drawbacks of osseointegration as well.
Throughout the process, there is a long rehabilitation process that may take a little longer than a year and a half to complete. With these procedures, there is also a risk of infection, fractures, loosening of the implant, and poor cosmesis because of the permanent abutment. An amputee will need daily care to take care of the abutment skin area and may not be involved in high-impact activities like running, jumping or swimming.
Deciding Whether or not It’s Right For You
When this technology was originally invented, it was recommended for transfemoral patients who had issues using the conventional socket prosthesis. Whether their complications were due to allergies, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, hip contractures or excess weight, this approach may work even better. Upper limb amputees can also benefit from this technology.
If any of these things apply to you or you are just not into the idea of a traditional socket prosthetic, try and ask your doctor if osseointegration is the right procedure for you. Remember to take into account how much time it will take to complete the whole process and what the repercussions are with this surgical procedure. It may or may not work for your situation, so you want to make sure you know what goes into the whole thing in order to better gauge whether or not it is for you.
The loss of a limb is devastating, as it means that you won’t be able to enjoy some of the things that you used to be able to before. Yet, it doesn’t have to mean that you have to give up on the things that you love, whether it’s simple activities like cooking or something as daring as a winter sport. For many winter sports lovers, these activities are more than hobbies; they are a way for you to experience the excitement and the rush of adrenaline as you appreciate being alive. No matter what your concerned mother tells you, we’re here to tell you that you can continue to enjoy winter sports as an amputee. Interested? Keep reading to find out more!
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A PROSTHESIS AND ORTHESIS
A prosthesis is designed to replace a missing limb in your body such as an arm or a leg. They are designed to offer symmetry and support to your body just as your natural limbs do, which means that they have to be meticulously measured and tailored to your body. Although children are likely to learn how to ski with a prosthesis a lot faster and with more proficiency than adults will be able to, the issue is that since they are still growing, the prosthesis will have to be remade often and their equipment adjusted accordingly. This can be quite costly, but it’s still a viable option if you have the funds to do it.
Ortheses are crafted splints that are designed to help with the mobility and functionality of your joints and muscles. The main purposes of an orthosis are to stabilize your joints, compensate for inadequate body parts, and substitute the functions of weak or missing muscles. You will typically be able to ski with most types of orthoses without any issues.
HOW TO CONTINUE TO PLAY WINTER SPORTS AS AN AMPUTEE
Skiing or snowboarding with a prosthetic limb is obviously a lot different than doing so with your natural arms or legs. For your own safety, you must make sure that you have gone through the proper physiotherapy and rehabilitation and that you have become acclimated to the sensation of using a prosthesis. Additionally, you will need to receive additional training on skiing and snowboarding to make sure that you know all the safety measures and how to control your limbs for the activity.
The next thing you have to consider is the type of equipment you’re using, as each of them has a different level of manoeuvrability and ease of control. Some amputees find it easier to use an adaptive ski such as a mono-ski or a dual-ski rather than a standard one. You will have to test out different equipment to see which one has the best fit for your preferences.
DOUBLE AMPUTEE SKIING
Despite having lost more than one limb, whether it be both arms, both legs, or one or more of each, you should still be able to enjoy skiing as everybody else can. Young amputees have a better chance of performing at a higher level than those who learn to ski later in their lives. Additionally, the amputation condition will affect the way you have to ski, as some may have been able to use only one ski pad while an amputee who has lost both legs may have to use a sit-ski instead.
Winter means cold weather, snow, and ice. As much as you may look forward to winter for the holiday season, the weather during this time is less than ideal for amputees, making it hard for them to get around. Using a prosthetic leg in slippery conditions can be downright dangerous. Fortunately, there are a couple of things that you can do to make sure that your prosthetic leg functions at its best – even if weather conditions are brutal. Proper care can make all the difference, so here are some tips for keeping your prosthetic comfortable during the cold weather:
Add Traction to Your Footwear
Just like you would choose tires that won’t skid on the ice, you will want to invest in some good high-traction footwear. Rubber soles and snowshoes will be your best bet. Look into winter boots or even cleats for better traction. If you are in an area that involves harsh winters, you should take a look at gel liners for your prosthetics, which are highly recommended by therapists. Not only will they insulate your prosthetic and allow you to stay warm, but they will also improve overall mobility. Amputees often have a hard time walking through snow due to the texture and the uneven ground. It is not recommended to walk on icy sidewalks or snowy roads. This is why extra traction will be needed as an extra layer of safety.
Stay Warm During Cold Season
Wind, cold temperatures, and moisture can build up pain if precautions aren’t taken. You want to wear your prosthesis anytime you leave the house and go into cold conditions. It’s crucial to keep your body warm and insulated in this kind of weather, which means that you should wear multiple layers, waterproof clothing, wool or fleece, and proper footwear. Exposing yourself to the cold is painful and can cause sickness, so bundle up! Keeping your whole body warm will also decrease stiffness in the other parts of your body, making it easier to move around.
Be Careful When Walking
It’s important to walk slowly and be careful while you are navigating through snow and ice. There are so many falling hazards in these weather conditions. Do not try to run or hurry through this weather, and take it easy by being steady. Another option for amputees is to use a walker, a cane, or a pair of crutches for slippery surfaces. You want a walker that has grips on the bottoms of it so that you can minimize your risk of slipping. Another reason to use a walker is that it will prevent nerve or joint pain. Walkers can be terrific tools to help you get through the winter.
Find Out What Specialized Prosthetic Technology is Available
There are tons of new advances in technology for amputees in order to make sure that they are comfortable and safe throughout all conditions, especially the winter. There are now prosthetics with heat regulation and bionic ankles that bend. There are only a few options of what is available, but prosthetics should be made for amputees to be able to do the bare minimum, which can be hard during winter. This is why there is always new technology targeted toward amputees in order to make it easier for them. When the winter time comes around, this is when amputees will need it most.
If you’re an amputee who’s looking to travel the world, you need to understand how to take care of your prosthetic devices to make sure that they’re at peak quality wherever you go. The last thing that you would ever want to happen is to have your trip ruined because your prosthetics have been damaged. We have come up with the top tips for traveling with a prosthetic or orthotic device to ensure that you make the most of your trip. With that said, here are our top suggestions:
You need to make sure that you know the weather of the location you’re going. That doesn’t just mean finding out if it’s hot or cold either, as humidity, heat, and snow can all harm the joints of your prosthetics. If you don’t plan to prepare for the weather conditions and your day-to-day travel plan, your prosthetics are guaranteed to be put under more wear and tear than you’d like. It may even become damaged significantly. It’s not cheap to fix a prosthetic limb, so be sure that you plan your trip well ahead of time.
Packing the Essential Supplies
You need to pack the necessary prosthetic care essentials to make sure that the device stays in peak condition for as long as possible. Listed below are some of the essentials that you must have with you whenever you’re traveling with a prosthetic limb:
// Prosthetic Soap
Mild, antibacterial soap is something that you can’t ever go without if you have a prosthetic limb. You need to make sure that you keep the inside of the prosthetic clean so that there’s no mold or fungal growth that can cause skin irritations and a horrible smell.
// Baby Powder
If you’re traveling to somewhere that’s very hot an humid, you need to make sure you keep the area of the skin that will come into contact with the prosthetic dry to prevent rashes. Baby powder works wonders for this purpose, so be sure to bring a good amount along with you.
// Additional Self-Care Products
Additional supplies such as clean clothes, wet wipes, skin care products, and gel liners are things that you need to make sure you always have with you. Unlike your natural skin, stains don’t come off naturally from your prosthetic skin, so you need to make sure you clean it as soon as it gets dirty, as well as every time after use. Also, don’t forget to bring socks, suspension sleeves, and other protective layers with you.
If you’re traveling through an airport, you need to make sure you check the policies on prosthetics of the specific airlines you’re flying with. Some airlines don’t allow you to carry prosthetic limbs on board unless you have it on you, and it’s not very fun to have the TSA screen your bag, only to find a human leg inside. The best way to avoid this issue is to declare it to the ground staff before the screening so they can give you the appropriate instructions on what to do.
If you’re not traveling on a plane, you need to make sure that the staff understands your needs so that they can provide you with all the assistance you need. It may not be as tricky or complicated as air travel, but the inconvenience of having to walk around with your prosthetics can be an issue, especially if you’re not used to it. Travel companies are usually more than happy to assist you, so be sure to let them know what you need.
Before you book your accommodation, you need to make sure that the hotel you’re staying at can take care of all of your needs. You don’t want to end up staying on the 10th floor of a hotel with no elevator as an amputee, so make sure you go with a choice that complements your condition the most.
The human body is comprised of a combination of joints, bones, muscles, and ligaments, and they work in tandem with one another to create one functional body. What humans can achieve with their bodies is something that is unique to our species, and being able to enjoy all the activities to its fullest is a blessing.
Our legs are what carry us to where we want to be, and they have allowed our species to become what we are today. However, some are us have been unfortunate enough to have lost a leg, whether in an accident, while in military service, or in the process of doing their jobs. These cases are tragic, and it would be great if no one ever had to find themselves in such a situation. Unfortunately, this is the reality that we live in.
With the help of modern medical technology, humans have been able to create prosthetic limbs that can replace the lost ones, allowing the amputee to have more control over their lives. In this article, we’ll talk about the parts of prosthetic legs and how they work together to help amputees enjoy a higher quality of life.
Much like a natural human leg, the majority of the prosthetic leg is the leg itself. Prosthetic legs are made from a model of your lost leg in conjunction with the rest of your body to ensure the best fit. The doctors will have to take the measurements of the amputees down to the slightest detail to ensure that they create the most functional leg possible.
There are two types of prosthetic legs: the below the knee (BK) and above the knee (AK) prosthesis. The choice between these two types of prosthetics will depend on where the limb cuts off, and you can infer their usage from the descriptive names. There are several sub-categories of prosthetics such as the hemipelvectomy, hip disarticulation, and foot amputations prosthesis.
The socket is where the residual limb is placed into the prosthetic limb, and it’s where the movement of the prosthesis originates. The socket is developed from a plaster cast to ensure a perfect fit. A high-quality prosthetic socket won’t cause any irritation or pain, as it will be covered with a liner that will keep you comfortable.
Knees and Feet
The knees and feet are the critical parts of the prosthetics, as these are the parts that will have to handle the majority of the weight. What’s more is that these are the major joints of the leg, which means that they will have to move with you to make it feel as natural as possible. Nowadays, prosthetics limbs have a motion sensor and microprocessor that associates the flexing of the muscles in the stubs with the movements of the prosthetics. These are also where the cushion of the overall prosthetics are located.
The prosthetics are controlled by the movement of the residual limb. The innovative technology allows the prosthesis to read the movement of the amputee and reflect that movement onto the prosthesis. There’s a cable that runs through the stretch of the prosthetic lake that pulls the limbs with your movement, allowing you to move your limbs naturally.
Losing a limb is an emotional experience for anyone, especially for a child and their family. The same can be said about getting a new prosthesis. Having to learn how to adjust to the new device and how to care for it can be extremely challenging – both for the child and also for the parents.
It is crucial that your child has all the support that they can get. As they go through this tough time, you have to assure them that they are not alone. This article will tell you how you can help your child navigate through this new life with a prosthesis.
Teach Them Basic Care
The most important thing that your child needs to understand is how to do basic care for their prosthesis. Both you and your child need to learn how to properly clean the prosthetic device, including the specific ways to clean socks and gel liners. Moreover, your child needs to learn the importance of avoiding water, sunscreen, and other chemicals.
There are also some circumstances that the prosthetic limb needs to be removed, and you should make sure that your child understands that as well. Although a more detailed explanation will be given to your child during measuring and fitting sessions, it is still important that your child knows the basics so that they will know what to expect.
Understand Their Concerns
A child that is too young to understand the significance of losing a limb and the trauma that comes with it might cope with it and get used to it a lot faster than an older child who wants to run around all the time. Therefore, the questions that they ask you about the prosthesis device will most likely depend on your child’s age.
For example, while a toddler might be curious about the functions of each component, while an older kid will be very emotional about going to school for fear of being teased or bullied. Teenagers, on the other hand, are more likely to be affected than younger kids as their primary concern is their body image. By considering what kind of concerns your child might have, you will know the best approach to talk to them.
Make Sure Your Prosthetist Is Always In the Picture
Getting advice and support from the professional is also a big part in helping your child adjust. Your prosthetist will be the key person that your child will look up to the most during this transition. They can provide you and your child with all the information and advice that they will need during the transition. Remember – your prosthetist is more than just the person who provides your child with an artificial limb, but they are also someone who is compassionate and understanding of what your child is going through.
They have seen and helped a lot of children who have been through the same transition as your little one, which means that they know just the right way to help. Therefore, if your child has any questions – whether it’s about the prosthetic device or about emotional challenges that they may be going through – you should encourage them to speak up and not be shy with their prosthetist.
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.
If your doctor has given you the bad news that one (or more) of your limbs will have to be amputated, chances are that you have many questions about how your life will be without it. There will undoubtedly be a few challenges that you will need to overcome with the support from your family and friends. Let’s take a look at a few common questions that people ask about limb loss.
What’s phantom limb syndrome?
This is a common question that is asked quite often. Phantom limb pain is a very common condition that amputees may feel after surgery. It is when you feel a sensation where your limb used to be. Sometimes this can be a painful or uncomfortable sensation. If you are experiencing this after your amputation, you should seek a therapist as soon as possible.
How can I pay for my prosthesis?
(If you are in the US):
Paying for your prosthesis may be one of your major concerns. If you have insurance, there is a chance that they will cover it. Be sure to ask your insurance company about this. You should also be sure to keep all medical records and receipts for them since they will need this information to submit the claim. If you do not have health insurance or your insurance will not cover it, you may be eligible for an assistance program. Ask your medical care provider about your options for payment and programs.
(If you are in the EU):
Check with your prosthetist or government if there is any help they can give you when it comes to payments for your prosthetics.
Must I wait a long time after surgery before getting a prosthesis?
This varies from person to person; everybody is different. Most patients will get a temporary one a few weeks after surgery. You may have to wait a few months after surgery for your wounds to heal before going for a fitting. This is because you cannot get fitted for a custom prosthesis until you have healed from any inflammation or swelling. After you’ve been fitted, physical therapy will help introduce you to moving with a prosthesis.
Will a prosthesis last a long time?
Prosthetics for amputees are always getting better as technology does. The newest technology prosthetics will last you a long time but will depend on whether or not it’s fitted correctly. The longevity of it will also be impacted by the quality of the materials it is made with as well as the way you maintain and care for it. Your activity level will also play a part. If cared for properly, you can increase the lifespan of your prosthetic, for up to four years. You will still need to have it changed every few years or when needed. Therefore, see if you can cover it with your insurance. It is worth it to make sure that you have coverage for replacements since you may need to pay for a new one every four years or so.
How many times must I see my prosthetist?
Even once you start to get the hang of using your prosthetic more freely, it is still important to see your prosthetist regularly. Your medical care provider service will recommend the amount of schedules appointments you will need, but it’s recommended to continue to see your prosthetist throughout any of the times you need their expertise for your prosthetic. You want to make sure that your prosthetic is as functional and comfortable as possible. If you feel that there’s an issue with your prosthetic, don’t hesitate to give your medical care provider a call.
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.
After losing a leg and getting it replaced by a prosthetic, the process of learning to walk again can be difficult, not to mention that it can be incredibly stressful. That being said, it’s important to note that it is very much possible.
The process will be long, and you won’t be able to regain your strength overnight. This is why you need to have patience and proceed with a positive attitude. You will also have to be committed to doing physical therapy so that you can learn to use this new part of you in your everyday life.
Make Sure Your Prosthetic Leg Fits
Before you learn how to walk with a prosthetic leg again, you’ve got to get it to fit you. Everyone has different levels of amputation – some have above the knee amputations, others below the knee, and some even at the ankle. This means that you will need to have a prosthetic leg that is designed specifically for you.
It is imperative that you have a comfortable fitting socket. If you have a secure and comfortable fit between the residual limb and prosthesis, you will be able to control your movement more effectively. Moreover, you need to take care of your prosthesis by regularly cleaning the socket area so that it won’t cause any skin irritations. When you receive the first fitting of your prosthesis, consult with your clinician regarding maintenance so that you can keep it in good condition.
Learning to Walk Again
At the beginning of the process, you may have to use a few assistant tools that your therapist recommends. The worse thing that you could do is rush the process and end up hurting yourself even further. Also, when you’re walking outside on your own, you need to be careful and take it slow so that you can be comfortable with the new surroundings. You will have to encounter challenges such as stairs or hills.
The most important thing is that you remember your therapist’s guidance and follow through in order to find the most effective way to navigate through these challenges. Moreover, you need to make sure that the width of your foot placement should only be two to four inches apart. That is because wider stances can tire you out quickly. As for your step length, heel to toe is the safest starting point. You can gradually increase the length as you gain more strength and become more comfortable.
Even after you’re starting to walk comfortably again, you still need to continue learning new exercises, such as balancing on one leg, bouncing a ball in place, walking, and balancing a tall stick on your hand. Later on, you will want to practice more practical exercises that are useful in your daily life, including walking on uneven surfaces, falling down and getting up, getting in and out of a car, and carrying items while walking.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t give up. There are some people who develop depression as a result of feeling like they’ll never be the same again. It’s understandable – you’ve quite literally lost a piece of yourself. However, not all hope is lost. You can enjoy a great quality of life – you just have to work hard to get there. Don’t go down the road of hopelessness. Remember to keep up a good attitude and go to physical therapy regularly, and in time, you will be able to fully embrace your prosthetic as a part of yourself.
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.
No matter what the case that leads you to wear a prosthetic limb may be, it’s fair to say that prosthetics have allowed you to regain some control over your life. To make sure that your prosthetics remain as functional as possible, you have to know how to take care of it. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this article. Here’s how you can care for your prosthetic limbs and residual skin:
Liners and Interfaces
The liners and interfaces of the prosthetic limbs are the most important parts of your prosthetics outside of the joint themselves. The skin of prosthetics are usually made of silicone or other types of polymer, and they may not be the most comfortable materials to keep in consistent contact with.
If your prosthetic is not well cared for, it can cause irritations, rashes, and other skin issues to form, especially near the stub where the prosthetic is placed. This is what the liners are for – to be the cushion between the prosthetics and the skin. You have to make sure that both the skin and the liners of the prosthetics are clean in order to prevent fungi, bacteria, and viruses from thriving there.
Make sure you wash your liners every day after use, much like you would with your laundry. You should always carry some extra liners with you in case you get too sweaty or uncomfortable. Also, you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals or alcohol to clean the surface of your prosthetic skin, as that can damage it and cause it to become malformed, and that’s not a good look. If there are any issues with your prosthetic skin, be sure to take it to your prosthetist, as they will know your skin condition and what to do to keep the prosthetic in the best condition possible.
Skin Care for Your Stub
You should never neglect to care for the skin where your prosthetic will be placed, as it’s the area that’s most likely going to develop sores or rashes if you don’t take good care of it. Before you put on your prosthetic, be sure to wash the stub with mild soap and pat it dry with clean cloth. Then, wrap it up. Repeat the process at the end of the day to prevent any fungal or bacterial growth on the skin.
The stub may have an opening where bacteria can gather develop into a serious skin condition such as infection or skin breakdown. These conditions are highly problematic, and they can be life-threatening at times. You have to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If there are unusual discomfort in the area or if you feel abnormally itchy, that may be a sign that you have to go visit your dermatologist. Avoid harsh scratching, as that could cause the condition to spread.
The skin near the stubs can be slightly thicker than the rest of your body due to the imperfect regeneration. It’s typically a good idea to moisturize the stub, but not if there’s an ingrown hair there. You should avoid shaving the stub, as it could cause an ingrown hair, which may cause an infection to develop. If you notice such a hair growing out of place, don’t try to pick at it or remove it by yourself. Instead, let the doctor examine and deal with it for you, as that will ensure that there’s no risk of infection and that your skin can remain as healthy as possible.
Also, since the stub will be covered by the prosthetic, it may be highly sensitive to sunlight and pollutants, so you want to make sure that they are always protected. Applying sunscreen and specialized skin care product for prosthetic wearers may be your best bet. Another thing you need to keep in mind that if you lose the majority of the nerves in the area, it can cause you to lose some sensation in the stub. You have to make sure you keep your residual limb away from a source of extreme heat or cold to avoid being scalded unknowingly.
If you need a prosthetic foot or leg then get in touch with us today to see how we can help.
This time Christoffer Lindhe takes us to the lovely Swedish mountains on his first ski-holiday with the family. The new sit-ski did not arrive in time but this does not prevent Christoffer from enjoying himself in the slopes. Enjoy the ride!
Halmstad, Sweden, March 10 2016
Last year in December, Christoffer Lindhe, founder of Lindhe Xtend, became a father to a little daughter. Ellie is now almost three month old. But how do take care of a little child and which challenges do you have as a tripple-amputee father? Christoffer shares some of his ideas to handle the daily life as a parent.
Fylleån, Halmstad – Sweden, September 18 – 2015
Christoffer Lindhe likes to stretch the limits. This week he has been trying out SUP – Stand Up Paddling. In the river of Fylleån, just outside of Halmstad where Christoffer lives, we take a little tour on of those last summer-days in Sweden. Take a look at how decisive Christoffer takes onboard a new challenge.
Hjerkinn, Norway, August 28 – 2015
Christoffer Lindhe is horseback-riding for the first time since his accident. The excursion, organized by Momentum in Norway, provides some nice views of the area of Dovre in Norway, a glimpse of the horse with the funny name Femur and also how Christoffer manages the trip.
Lyon, France, June 26 – 2015
This week we visited Lyon in France and the ISPO World congress. See Christoffer’s blogg (in Swedish) about how you cope with prosthetics when wandering on the exhibition all day long.
Dovrefjell in Norway, November 30, 2014
When travelling back from a amputee-meeting with Momentum in Trondheim, we took the road E6 through the beautiful Dovrefjell. A lovely experience and we also get to see snow for the first time this season. See Christoffer’s videoblogg about the nature, the privilege of a double-amputee to be dressed in shorts during the winter and how to handle slippery surfaces.
Halmstad swimming pool, 14 November 2014
Christoffer Lindhe has previously swum at elite level and moreover competed in 2 Paralympics (Beijing and London). We frequently receive questions about how he currently swims and trains, now that he is no longer an active elite swimmer. In the video you can see how Christoffer swims, which aids he uses and how he finds time to train, despite the fact that his major focus today is as CEO of Lindhe Xtend.
Göteborg, 24 October 2014
Christoffer Lindhe demonstrates the new Xtend Foot prosthetic foot and the prosthetic protection Xtend Cover which were premiered at Ortopedteknik 2014 in Göteborg. Take a tour of the stand and meet Marie, thigh amputee, who gives a practical demonstration of how flexible the foot is laterally.
Moss in Norway, 8 October 2014
Christoffer Lindhe has spent a total of 12 months in hospital. See how it has affected him, what was his inspiration during his time in hospital and what role other amputees and organisations can play in providing inspiration and support.
Oslo in Norway, 6 October 2014
Christoffer Lindhe has done a lot of travelling, both during his active swimming career, the Paralympics in Peking and London for example, but also with the Lindhe Xtend company which develops user friendly prostheses, and when giving lectures. How is it possible to travel smart and what small tips and tricks does Christoffer have to offer? See the entry from Holmenkollen in Norway where Lindhe Xtend tests their prosthetic feet.