Becoming an amputee comes with its set of challenges and it’s an experience that few would plan for. Even with support from family and friends, this can be an incredibly scary and frustrating time. Thankfully, limb loss or limb difference does not have to mean an end to the activities and lifestyle that you enjoy. With a prosthetic limb, you can discover a new normal and get your overall function back.
In this guide, we’ll address some frequently asked questions and share some tips to help you adjust to your new normal after an amputation.
How Can I Prepare Myself for a Prosthesis?
After an amputation, there is a lot that you can do to prepare your residual limb for a prosthesis. Your healthcare team will advise you on the best course of action for your specific case.
Some general tips and advice that apply to most new amputees include;
How Much Does a Prosthesis Cost and How Do I Pay For It?
Artificial limbs can certainly be expensive. The cost of your prosthetic device will depend on the length of the limb that needs to be replaced and the type of prosthesis that is ideal for you. Thankfully, insurance can help you cover part or even the entire cost of the prosthesis. It’s important that you carefully review your insurance plan to determine the specific inclusions and exclusions.
Which Criteria Should I Follow When Choosing a Prosthetist?
Choosing a prosthetist is one of the most crucial decisions for an individual with limb loss or limb difference. Your prosthetic practitioner will ensure that your artificial limb fits perfectly and recommend a regimen to help you adapt to the prosthesis. They’ll even help you feel more comfortable by recommending products that you may need such as prosthetic socks and liners.
When selecting a prosthetic practitioner, keep in mind that this can potentially be a lifelong relationship.
Some factors that you’ll need to consider when making this decision include;
Many individuals with an amputation or limb difference will require a wheelchair or crutches in addition to their prosthetic limb. Such assistive devices can make activities such as showering, nighttime bathroom trips, and long journeys more convenient.
There may be periods when you’re unwilling or unable to use your artificial limb. Your preferred assistive device will come in handy during such periods.
Where Can New Amputees Find Ongoing Support? The importance of connecting and talking to other individuals who are adjusting to life with a prosthetic device can’t be overstated. Such support groups comprise people with varying levels of amputation and at different stages of recovery. Meeting and interacting with such a group can help inspire confidence in each other.
If you’re interested in connecting with other people in the limb loss and limb difference community, the Amputee Coalition is a great place to get started.
Prosthetic Tips for New AmputeesHere are some simple and practical tips that will help you adjust to life with a prosthesis.
You also need to regularly communicate with your prosthetist before and after your final fitting. If you’re experiencing any issues related to fit, skin, or comfort of your prosthesis inform your practitioner immediately.
Caring for your amputation site through simple practices such as wearing your prosthetic socks regularly and putting on your shrinker socks overnight will also speed up the acclimation period.
Additionally, recognize and accept that every recovery journey is unique. For instance, it may take you longer to adapt to an above-knee prosthesis compared to someone else using a below-knee prosthesis.
Expert Prosthetists at Align ClinicIf you’re looking for a prosthetic device, Align Clinic is here to help. You can book an appointment or visit one of our clinics near you. Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and support that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.
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