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 4 warning signs you’re ready to replace your prosthetic

By Carey Bunch, CPO/L, Prosthetist

WP_20141007_006How do you know when it is time to replace your prosthesis? There are general rules of thumb, but the bottom line is to replace it whenever you’re having issues that a simple adjustment can’t correct or when the prosthesis seems to be limiting your level of activity. There are 4 warning signs that may signal serious issues. If you find you’re suddenly suffering from skin irritation, pain, mobility issues, or fatigue, chances are it may be time to consider a replacement.

  1. Skin Irritation

Skin irritation is, unfortunately, a common ailment affecting amputees. It can often be controlled with the proper socket fit and spacer socks to accommodate for volume fluctuation, but sometimes this just isn’t enough. If you find that you’re having a serious problem with skin irritation, it is important to visit a qualified prosthetist to find a fix and the source of your issues before they become a serious medical concern.

  1. Pain

Pain is another important warning sign of prosthesis issues. Back pain or pain in the residual limb are definite signs that something may be wrong. It could be a simple alignment problem or a more serious issue, in either case you should make a point to get checked out and correct the source of your pain before serious complications arise.

  1. Mobility Issues

Poor balance and instability are warning signs that something isn’t quite right. They’re usually some of the first indicators of fit or alignment problems, but they are often overlooked until more serious issues like pain or skin irritation pop up. If you suddenly feel like your prosthesis just isn’t moving correctly or maybe it feels unbalanced, you may just need an adjustment, but it may also be time to look into replacement.

  1. Fatigue

Fatigue is typically the result of mobility and other fit issues. You may not be aware of the underlying issues, but if you find you tire much faster than normal or you just don’t feel up to tasks you regularly enjoy, it may be time to consider a replacement  of a particular component or the entire prosthesis.

The bottom line is your prosthesis should allow you to perform the activities you desire without excessive pain, suffering and fatigue. If you’ve recently begun to experience any of these issues or if you’ve never experienced the freedom of a good fit, call Premier Prosthetics Center at (865) 474-7096 or schedule a free consultation online with our team of highly-qualified staff today! Our specialized fitting process will create a prosthesis that allows you to live the lifestyle you desire.

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