The most important goal of your treatment, from surgery to rehabilitation, to the fitting of your prosthesis, is to help you attain the most function and mobility possible, so you can lead an active life.
Before you can wear a prosthesis, your residual limb must be healed and have attained the proper shape. This means that all fluids that accumulated due to the operation have been removed through compression therapy and that the residual limb edema has subsided.
Once your residual limb has been properly formed and can bear weight, you may be fitted with an early or interim prosthesis. Then you’ll begin to practice using your prosthetic leg. At first you’ll learn how to put the prosthesis on and take it off as well as take care of it. Later, you’ll learn how to walk with the prosthesis, which is known as gait training.
After your amputation you should be fitted with the best prosthesis for your needs.
Things that influence selection of a suitable prosthesis for you include your level of physical fitness and health, the amputation level, the demands you place on the prosthesis and your professional and private environment.
Your prosthesis will help restore a large part of your mobility and contribute to your ability to manage your life without help from others. By wearing your prosthesis, you’ll help avoid postural and balance problems that can arise due to the missing weight of your amputated leg. In addition, you also avoid excessive strain and long-term damage to your sound leg by wearing your prosthesis.
Your prosthetist will likely meet with you in order to better understand your needs and wishes. In addition, he or she will assess your residual limb shortly after the amputation and find out if an interim prosthesis is appropriate for you.
With the aid of pressure applied to the residual limb over a large surface area, swelling (edema) of the residual limb can be reduced and the residual limb can be formed for the future prosthetic fitting. This compression of the residual limb contributes to being able to do your prosthetic fitting as soon as possible and to making it easier to adjust your prosthesis. In addition, compression aids circulation in the residual limb. This reduces the amount of pain and results in improved healing of the scar. Various techniques are used for compression therapy: The residual limb may be wrapped with an elastic bandage, or compression socks or a prefabricated silicone liner may be worn.
Elastic bandages are applied using a special wrapping technique after the wound bandage or residual limb cast, is removed. During the first few days and weeks after the operation, your residual limb will be bandaged by your therapist or by the nursing staff. This somewhat elaborate compression involving elastic bandages can be customized to your individual residual limb amputation level.
It is also important that you clean the bandages thoroughly. Since the bandages absorb sweat, they should be washed daily with a mild detergent or a mild soap. Remove the majority of the water by rolling them up gently in a towel, then lay them out flat to dry. Do not hang the bandages up to dry, as this can affect their elasticity. You have to wear your compression bandages until your residual limb is fully healed. As soon as everything has healed, you can try sleeping through a night without wearing the bandage, but only after consultation with your doctor, prosthetist, or physical therapist. However, if you experience a lot of swelling in the residual limb the next morning, you should continue with the compression therapy.
After the prosthetic components for you have been determined, the prosthetic socket will be made and then finally aligned to best fit your walking style and ability. The proper fit of the socket is extremely important, just like a shoe, if it doesn’t fit well you won’t be able to walk correctly.
Just as important is the alignment of the prosthesis, which can determine whether you walk with a correct, efficient, and comfortable gait.
You may undergo several trial fittings to make sure the socket and alignment is correct. Be patient with the process, your prosthetist will be working hard to make sure everything works as well as possible.
The functionality provided by prosthetic components such as prosthetic feet and prosthetic knee joints can vary a lot. This means that it’s important to select the right prosthetic components. These components and targeted training in how to use them are decisive factors in allowing you to achieve your individual therapy goals.
You can rely on our expertise to choose the right modular system from a comprehensive selection of knees, feet and adaptors and to fabricate and fit a prosthesis that matches your individual needs. The result is a prosthesis that you can rely on at every step during day-to-day life.