Everything you Need to Know About Prosthetics, Care, Use and Maintenance

Amputee Mountain Climber

The first prosthetic created by humans was found in Egypt and estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. For a very long time, the medical community has been working diligently to help patients restore normal body functions after an amputation or other cause for limb loss with the use of prosthetics and orthotics. Below, you can read everything you need to know about dealing with prosthetic companies and navigating the world of these life-saving medical devices.

SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A PROSTHETIC?

The goal of a prosthetic is to restore normal body function to a patient. Prosthetic limbs allow amputees to walk, write, run, hold items, cook for themselves, and all kinds of other activities that collectively increase the quality of life. Choosing whether to be fitted for one is a serious conversation to have with your doctor and a reputable prosthetic company located near you.

Synergy employs the most skilled clinicians in the industry and we provide unwavering support for specialized training and continuing education. Access to continuing education and training allows our clinicians to deliver the best service with the utmost quality and success.

We will work closely with you to design a prosthesis that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. We take great pride in our work and spend the time necessary to achieve an optimum fit for you.

HOW DO PROSTHETICS WORK?

Most prosthetics are individually made to specifically fit a patient. Measurements are taken off the patient’s remaining limb and a socket it made that will adjoin the limb to the device. Attachments are then added to the socket and several fittings take place over a several week’s time span that it takes to create the prosthetic before the patient enters physical therapy to learn how to move with their new limb.  Here are more Prosthetic resources for you to educate yourself what to do and how to find the best fit and support

HOW ARE THEY PAID FOR?

Prosthetic limbs can be very expensive medical devices ranging in cost from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the design, function and materials used. What’s even more costly is that these devices have to be replaced every few years. Insurance picks up the tab on most of the cost for the device, and there are many programs that help patients afford prosthetics.

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?

The process to get a prosthetic limb doesn’t even begin until several months after surgery and after the remaining limb has completely healed. Once that happens, a prosthetist will take the necessary measurements and begin working to craft the individual device. There are several fittings during the process and it can take several weeks from when initial measurements were taken and when the prosthetic is ready for use in physical therapy.

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY PROSTHESIS?

CARING FOR YOUR PROSTHESIS

Since you will be relying on the prosthesis to help you walk, it is important to know how to take care of it.  By following the suggestions listed below you should be able to maintain the prosthesis in good working order.  The rules for caring for your prosthesis are:

  1. Keep the prosthesis clean and dry
  2. Prevent water damage to the prosthesis
  3. Store prosthesis properly

 

Keep Prosthesis Clean and Dry

As with your residual limb, it is important to wash your prosthesis daily to prevent the buildup of sweat, dirt and bacteria.  Clean the inside of the prosthesis with a damp cloth and mild soap.  Wash the part of the socket that touches your skin, the soft liner if you have one, and any rubber padding.

DO NOT immerse the prosthesis fully in water.  Wipe off the soap with a clean cloth and dry the prosthesis completely.  It is a good idea to wash it in the evening so it can dry overnight before you wear it again.

Prevent Water Damage
Water damage can develop if a standard prosthesis is immersed in fresh or salt water over time.  DO NOT swim, shower, or bathe with it on.  You may want to discuss the option of a waterproof prosthesis with your prosthetist if you are involved in water sports.

Store Carefully
When you are not wearing your prosthesis, prop it carefully against a wall where it will not get bumped or knocked over.  DO NOT store prosthesis in a hot environment such as in direct sunlight in a parked car, near an oven, or near a radiator.

Remember NEVER attempt to make any adjustments to your prosthesis.  If something becomes loose, is working incorrectly, is making strange noises or is suddenly uncomfortable, stop using it and contact your Prosthetist IMMEDIATELY!

Find more on Prosthesis Care and how to care for yourself.

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