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How to choose the right prosthetic .

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How to choose the right prosthetic .

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[Abstract]:

How to choose the right prosthetic .

 

The  Process  of  Being Fitted 

 

Once your residual limb is healed and the swelling has reduced, you will be ready for your first fitting for an artificial limb. This is usually about one to two months following surgery, but underlying medical conditions such as vascular disease or an infection might extend this time period.

 

 

 

 1. Your Level of Activity Artificial limbs are designed for low, medium and high-level activities. Usually low-activity limbs are simpler in design and may be lighter in weight than high-activity ones, which may contain more complex components. Endoskeletal components are lightweight, require few adjustments, and have parts that are easily interchanged. Exoskeletal components are durable, last longer and can endure strenuous wear.

 

2. Your Health Amputees with an active lifestyle may require limbs with more advanced function (though there might be extra maintenance involved). Sometimes, less active amputees and those who have conditions like diabetes or vascular disease, choose to use simple artificial limbs that are comfortable, easy to use, light and/or require less energy to use. For example, a "slide-on socket" which is easy to slip on with a lightweight activity belt could be useful if you are a senior amputee. Stance control safety knees are useful for leg amputees with limited muscle control since they contain a weight-activated safety brake.

 

3. Your Level of Amputation Leg amputees will need to consider the type of foot that is suitable for them. For instance, a partial foot amputee can use a shoe filler for better function. Some leg amputees will consider an articulated ankle (with jointed parts that move) and an above-knee amputee will also consider the type of knee joint they require. Similarly, partial hand amputees might be interested in an opposition post (a device that allows partial hand amputees to grasp while retaining sensation).

mobility aids like a wheelchair are also useful. Some amputees who use prostheses for certain activities rely on their wheelchair for activities involving long distances.

 

4. Cosmetic Look versus Functionality There is sometimes a trade-off between the cosmetic look (cosmesis) of an artificial limb and its function. If you are a leg amputee, for example, highly cosmetic coverings are expensive and may be easily damaged if you lead a very active lifestyle. If you are an arm amputee, hooks are very functional because of their good pinch and grasp function, but do not look as natural as a passive or myoelectric hand. You have to find the right balance of cosmesis and function to suit your needs.

 

5. Other Options In addition to the standard limb, you should consider whether you need additional specialised limbs. Many amputees have different artificial limbs for specific activities. A Prosthetist can make a recreational arm or leg specially designed for sports, such as skiing or swimming. Specific devices, like a simple ring attached to the handlebars of a bicycle for upper-limb amputees, can also be made. Remember, the Prosthetist is an expert on artificial limbs, but you are an expert on yourself and what you need!