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.