An Emotional Development Guide for Kids With Limb Reductions

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.

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!

 

Reasons Why You Should Get a Prosthetic Device

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.

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!

Skiing and Other Mountain Activities For Amputees – Our Guide

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:

Prosthesis:
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.

Orthosis:
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.

Final Notes
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.

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!

All You Need to Know About Amputee Vehicle Modification

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.

Additional Recommendations

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.

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!

3 Types of Suspension Systems Used for Prosthetic Limbs

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:

 

Anatomic suspension

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.

 

Upper-limb suspension

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.

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!

What is Osseointegration? Our Guide to The Process & Requirements

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.

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!

 

Osseointegration, Advantages & Drawbacks

 

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.

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!

All You Need to Know About Skiing as an Amputee


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

Prosthesis

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.

Orthosis

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.

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!

How to Get Through Winter With a Prosthetic Leg

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.

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!

Traveling With a Prosthetic Limb: What to Bring With You

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:

 

Planning Ahead

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.

 

Additional Tips:

Airplane Travel

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.

Non-Air Travel

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.

Accommodation

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.

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!

 

Prosthetic Legs: A Quick Breakdown & Overview

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.

The Limb

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

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.

Natural Movement

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.

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!

Three Ways to Help Your Child Adjust to a New Prosthesis

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.

Common Questions About Limb Loss & Prosthesis’s

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.

How to Learn to Walk Again With Your Prosthesis

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.

 

More Exercises

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.

 

Takeaway

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.

How to Care for Your Prosthetic Limbs and Residual Skin

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.

 

Additional Tips

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.

On training, swimming and finding time

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.

On tour in Norway – on the art of travelling

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.