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What To Know So You Can Love Your Prosthetic Limb  

Surgeon-supervised-Comprehensive-CareAccording to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500 Americans lose a limb each day, and an estimated 1.9 million people in the United States live with limb loss.

Limb Loss is the loss of all or part of an arm or leg due to trauma, infection, diabetes, heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, cancer or other diseases. In order to provide education and support for individuals and their caregivers within the limb loss community, the CDC supports the Amputation Coalition which offers the following guidelines that the Premier Surgical Prosthetic Center in Knoxville finds helpful for new amputees considering a prosthetic limb.

How and why will I use a prosthesis?

A prosthesis is a tool to help you regain your independence and your activity level following your amputation. Knowing when, why, and how you will use a prosthesis will go a long way toward helping you and your prosthetist design the best artificial limb for you. Ask yourself:

  • What do you want to be able to do with the prosthesis?
  • What activities do you plan to do?
  • Do you want to walk or run?
  • Do you care about the way it looks?

The most important advice for loving your prosthetic arm or leg is to work with your prosthetist and physical therapists to identify your needs and concerns. Your prosthetist will work with you on design and fit. Your physical and occupational therapists will work with you on when and how to use your new prosthesis. Talk honestly with them about your needs and goals for your life after surgery. Advances in prosthetics are being made everyday, and your options are more than you most likely realize.

How will my prosthesis work?

There are no two prosthetic limbs that are the same. Each device is custom fitted for each amputee’s residual limb, and is designed to support his or her ideal activity level. Consider a prosthesis an extension of your body.

A prosthesis will have a socket that connects the device to your residual limb. An additional layer, called a liner, fits over your residual limb to provide a cushion barrier between your skin and the socket. Your prosthetist will work with you to ensure that the socket is fitted properly —a poorly fitted socket can lead to sores and blisters on your residual limb, which will make you unable to use it. Your prosthesis should fit comfortably, and most likely will need to be adjusted from time to time as your body or lifestyle changes.

What will my prosthesis look like?

Once again, advances in prosthetic technology are making the appearances of artificial limbs nearly limitless. You can choose to have a more functional mechanical look or a cosmetic cover that looks like a natural limb. Some amputees choose to make a fashion statement with a favorite color or pattern. Consider your prosthesis is an extension of you and your style, and wear it with pride.

If you are currently facing amputation, or struggling with a poorly fitting prosthesis, call Premier Prosthetic Center in Knoxville today at (865) 474-7096 or schedule a free consultation online. Our expert staff can create a prosthesis to fit your unique lifestyle.


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