To obtain the greatest advantage of the prosthesis, it is important to take care not only your general health, residual limb conditions but also the new limb/prosthesis.

 

Device

  1. Remove the prosthesis before going to bed.

  2. Examine the device for loose part/damages.

  3. Clean the socket with mild soap and water using cloth daily. Wipe the inside of the socket with mildly damped cloth so the excess water does not flow into prosthetic components.

  4. If notice any clicking, creaking or abnormal, contact your prosthetist as soon as possible for check-up and repair.

 

Residual limb

  1. Examine residual limb conditions every day to check for redness or blister. Mirror can be used to help during the examination.

  2. Clean and put small amount of lotion on residual limb and massage the skin. Clean your residual limb with mild soap, rinse with clean water and dry it gently with a towel. But remember, do not apply any lotion or chemical on residual limb before wearing prosthesis as chemical may damage the liner.

  3. Practise exercises for stretching, range of motion, body positioning and endurance to ensure well control of prosthesis.

  4. Maintain stable body weight to ensure the prosthesis fit properly.

 

Silicon liner & stump sock

  1. Remove the liner/sock from residual limb and turn it inside out.

  2. Hand wash the liner/sock with gentle soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry naturally overnight or with a towel in patting motion.

  3. Do not fold the liner/sock. Put a polystyrene inside when not using it.

 

Wearing hour

 

Wear the prosthesis according to the schedule provided by your prosthetist. Normally the wearing hour will gradually increase. Start with a couple of hours each day and progress up to all day. Wearing prosthesis for extended period or less may create problem which slowing down the progress towards becoming a fulltime prosthetic user. Regular check up with your Prosthetist at least once a year to make sure that the prosthesis is in proper working order.

 

Why you need to see your prosthetist regularly?

 

Prosthesis need regular ‘service’ after being used over a period of time, just like your car. However who should be in-charged of this ‘services’? After the prosthesis has been used for a period of time, there are some conditions in a prosthesis that cannot be easily seen or realized such as inside screw loosen may happen and need to repair and replace. The alignment of prosthesis may also change the walking pattern. The socket will not fit well if there is any change in shape of stump or significant change in body weight. Adjustment on the socket or a new socket may need according to your prosthetist’s suggestion. Prosthetists are trained to solve those problems. Do not adjust it by yourself as you may make the condition worse. Do not wait when there are problems on your prosthesis. Good alignment and fit socket ensure the prostheses works for you without bringing more danger to you.

 

Things to take note during travel

 

There are many types of prosthesis components. It is good to know about the strength and limitation of your prosthesis. For example, the impact of water, dirt or even soil and electrical as well as magnetic disturbance. This is important especially when you are planning for your holiday or outdoor activities. It is to ensure that your prosthesis is not affected by environmental issue.

 

What is K level?

 

K-level is the amputee activity level used by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure uniformity in making decision on which prosthesis is medical necessary for each patient. The system is a range of numbers from 0 to 4, 0 being no activity while 4 means very active.

  • Level 0: Does not have the ability or potential to ambulate or transfer safely with or without assistance and a prosthesis does not enhance their quality of life or mobility

  •  Level 1: Has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfers or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence. Typical of the limited and unlimited household ambulator.

  •  Level 2: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.

  •  Level 3: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulatory who has the ability to traverse most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic, or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilization beyond simple locomotion.

  •  Level 4: Has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress, or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete. 

 

Consultation

 

Consult a certified prosthetist before you get a prosthesis. They can provide important and quality information on what your realistic expectation should be. Be prepared mentally and physically for prosthesis. Speak to an amputee especially those who are close to your age can be a source to get more information as well as mental support and preparation. Control and exercise our body after about two weeks of surgery depending on wound healing especially residual limb for the preparation of prostheses fitting.