Once you have come to terms with your amputation, it is not time to figure out how to get your old life back. This will most likely require fitting custom prosthesis. This process is new to you so it is only natural to be apprehensive. Learning what you can expect from the entire process involved with artificial limbs can help to easy your anxiety and build confidence.
Note that every amputee’s journey is different but the basics are more or less the same. Below is what you can expect throughout your journey to reclaim your active life.
The very first step is a consultation with an orthopedist to figure out which prosthetics are most suitable for you. This stage is important to set expectations as well as express your wishes and desired for the future. Some of the areas you are likely to cover with the orthopedist include;
- Personal interests
- Expected level of activity
- Preferred leisure activities
These points are important so the orthopedist knows what is most suitable. This may also be a good time to explore robotic prosthetics and how these might fit in to your long-term goals and projected outcomes. It is also common that the orthopedist works in conjunction with your surgeon and/or other doctors to cover all the bases.
Measurements and Fitting
Measurements may be taken before or after surgery. Whatever the case, this procedure is necessary to developing custom orthotics that fit you perfectly. You may be fitted with post operation prosthesis soon after your surgery. This temporary prosthesis is meant to help adjust the residual limb to the actual prosthesis as well as to manage swelling. The prosthesis is then created once the swelling has gone down and you are fully healed.
Many modern orthopedists use computer aided design (CAD) technology to find the perfect fit.
Once the prosthetic is created and fitted, it is now time to learn to walk again. Physical therapy can be a grueling time but you should be able to get through it with the right mental attitude, focus and optimism. Physical therapists are there to help you throughout the process. You can expect parallel bars and walking aids through this process as you gain strength and confidence walking in your artificial limb. Note down any discomforts or concerns during this time and relay them to your orthopedist.
These are just some of the steps you can expect on the road to getting artificial limbs. Keep an open line of communication with your doctors and orthopedist. Don’t worry if the artificial limb doesn’t work as you expected the first time around. Adjustments can be made and things also get easier as you learn how to walk again.
MedEast Post-Op & Surgical, Inc
3001 Irwin Rd
Suite E, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
NJ Phone: 856-829-2030
NJ Fax: 856-829-2070