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Why Your Prosthetic Isn’t Cutting it (And How You Can Fix It)

By Carey Bunch, CPO/L , Prosthetist

A male prosthesis wearer in a training situation.Feeling limited by or suffering physical pain is unfortunately all too common with a prosthesis. Many people suffer with poor fit or a reduced activity level, because they feel like there’s nothing that can be done. If you feel like your prosthetic isn’t up to par, no matter what the reason may be, there’s no reason to let your problems continue; consider these two main areas where most prostheses fall short and the simple solution to both.

Your prosthesis fits poorly

Proper fit is a bit of a moving target, particularly in the early stages. The good news is there are many ways to adjust a prosthesis to ensure optimal fit thereby reducing or eliminating physical issues like swelling, skin irritation, or fatigue. The keys to optimal fit are tracking the changes in the residual limb and creating a socket that accurately depicts the limb allowing you the level of control you require without causing you undue fatigue. Poor fit can usually be fixed, but it can take a certain amount of trial and error to find the optimal fit for you. A crucial step in determining the optimal fit is using a thermoplastic diagnostic socket as an evaluation tool to achieve maximum comfort.

Your prosthesis isn’t built for that

You may find that your prosthesis fits fine, but it just isn’t designed to do some of the things you’d like to do. A great example is running. It takes a radically different system to cope with the stresses of a 5k or marathon compared to a day spent strolling in the garden. It’s important not to try to stick it out with a prosthesis that isn’t designed for whatever activity you’re attempting. Not only could you damage your prosthesis, but you may cause yourself a great deal of pain and injury to the residual limb. Take the time to find a prosthesis with the proper configuration of components that fits well and will allow you to perform your desired activity at the optimal level—you’ll be glad you did.

How can I fix it?

If you feel like your prosthesis isn’t cutting it, whether due to poor fit or desired activity level, the best thing you can do is consider making a trip to a qualified prosthetist to discuss modification or replacement of your current prosthesis.

Give Premier Prosthetic Center a call today at (865) 474-7096 or schedule a free consultation online and let our highly-qualified staff create a prosthesis for your unique lifestyle with our specialized design and fitting process.

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