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Important Steps for a Successful Prosthetic Process

If you lose a part or all of your leg or arm as a result of circulatory problems, traumatic injuries, cancer, or birth defects, then you may be recommended for a device called a prosthesis.

A prosthesis is an artificial limb that can help you perform your day-to-day activities – from eating to walking.

Fitting Your Prosthesis

Getting a prosthetic device is a process. This is to ensure proper fitting of your artificial limb. A poor-fitting prosthesis can lead to pain, discomfort, damage to other parts of the body, and frustration to the wearer.

Both before and after amputation, you will be working with a prosthetist, a medical professional specifically trained to work with prostheses. As you work together, you will have an opportunity to discuss your mobility and rehabilitation goals as well as your expectations in the use of prosthesis for your everyday activities.

Fitting of a device only begins about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. This is when the residual limb is under control and the suture line has healed.

The initial stage of prosthesis fitting is called the temporary or preparatory prosthesis. In this phase, the prosthetist creates a temporary socket. The socket is an important element of a prosthesis. It is where the prosthesis and the residual limb connect.

The temporary or initial socket is clear. It is designed this way to see how your limb contacts the socket and to identify pressure spots. Other components of the prosthesis will be added to the temporary socket. They will be adjusted as you use your limb and provide feedback to your prosthetist.

The prosthetist will decide when it is time to create your final prosthesis. This usually happens several months after the surgery when the residual limb has stabilized.

The Importance of Exercise

There are several factors that can lead to the success in the use of a prosthetic device. One of which is exercise following amputation.

Exercise after amputation is recommended to maintain healthy weight, improve stability, and prevent shortening of the muscles.

Contractures or shortening of the muscles are common among amputees. They can result from prolonged sitting or lying in bed with the body out of alignment. When contractures are severe, they can lead to prosthesis not fitting correctly or worse, you may not be able to use a prosthesis at all.

The shortening of the muscles can be prevented through exercises like knee flexion, hip flexor stretch, and adductor stretch.

Premier Prosthetic Works with You

From evaluation to rehabilitation, the staff at the Premier Prosthetic Center in Knoxville works with you. We have an experienced prosthetics team who will guide and work with you all throughout the process of restoring your vitality and mobility.  For a free consultation call 865-474-7096.

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