Every 30 thirty seconds, a person’s limb is being surgically amputated somewhere around the world. No matter the cause, these amputations are often life changing. In many cases, the patient will receive a prosthesis, which is paid for over a period of time through a person’s insurance or their own personal finances.
However, while a prosthesis may help those with amputated limbs to walk or move as they used to, there are common misconceptions that many people have when they receive their first prosthetic limbs.
- Misconception #1: Your prosthesis will fit like a glove at home because it fit well in the office.
While custom prosthetics are meant to fit you and only you, the remaining area of your amputated limb will be going through additional changes as it heals from surgery. The swelling in the area will go down, scar tissue may form, and muscle in the area may atrophy. As a result, your prosthesis may fit especially well one day and then not fit right the next.
If your prosthesis continues to be uncomfortable, it’s important that you relay the information to your prosthetist. Your prosthetist is there to ensure your prosthesis fits you properly and that it’s working as well as possible for your lifestyle. However, before your prosthetist can tell where the prosthesis may be bothering you, it’s essential that you tell them yourself or else it may never be comfortable.
- Misconception #2: Your prosthesis will be comfortable to wear all the time.
Because the area where your limb was removed isn’t used to bearing the weight of a prosthesis, it’ll take a while for the area to become used to the feeling. Therefore, the amputated area may become uncomfortable faster during the first few weeks that you wear the prosthesis.
However, discomfort and pain are two different things. Prosthetic limbs should never be painful to wear. If it causes you pain to walk or move, then it’s important you consult with your prosthetist for an adjustment.
- Misconception #3: Your prosthetic device will only need one or two adjustments.
As your amputated area continues to heal and change after the first year of surgery, your prosthetic limb may need to be adjusted multiple times in order to find what’s most comfortable for you.
When a part of your prosthetic limb hurts, it’s essential that you tell your provider. Similar to orthotics and orthotic services, your prosthetist will change the shape and design of the prosthetic limb so as to help it fit better and to make it as comfortable as possible. It may take multiple attempts in order to get your prosthetic limb just right.
Your new prosthesis is something that will take getting used to as your amputated area heals from surgery and you learn to use your new device for enhancing mobility. If your prosthesis becomes uncomfortable or downright painful, it’s important that you relay this information to your doctor for proper treatment and readjustments. The changes you make to your prosthesis will be worth it.