Asked Questions about Prosthetics
Can I get my Prosthesis wet?
Getting rain and water on the prosthesis will not hurt
it. Some components are better than others for those
who intend to be fully immersed in water. Discuss
intended activities with your prosthetist so that
components best suited are chosen for your prosthesis.
Components may wear out more quickly if immersed in
water and may require more upkeep. Sometimes an amputee
will wear a prosthesis to the pool, remove it to swim,
and the wear the prosthesis again after drying off.
Sometimes a special water or shower leg is made. Most
of the components in this system are waterproof and
typically are less expensive components than used on
the everyday prosthesis.
How many socks should I wear?
Determining sock size is probably the hardest thing
to grasp about a new prosthesis. The prosthesis is
a static in volume, but your leg shrinks and swells
throughout the day. Socks are used to take up space
in the prosthesis. Too many socks can cause pressure
and discomfort on the bottom of the leg and too few
socks can have the same effect. Incorrect sock ply
can lead to wounds on the leg. The best way to figure
out sock ply is to assess how your prosthesis fits and
feels. The socket of the leg should slide on with
a little resistance. If it goes on too easily, add
socks. If you can't get into it all the way, decrease
sock ply. Often times an amputee needs to put on more socks as the day progresses.
Always carry socks with you. If you have trouble getting
into your prosthesis on in the morning, wear your shrinker
sock at night to limit swelling.
Can I use lotion on my leg?
Lotions should not be used on the leg inside of the
prosthesis. They contain perfumes and other chemicals
that can actually cause the leg to break out. If you
need to use lotion, apply it at night and wash it
off in the morning before putting the leg back on.
Your prosthetist does have some special moisturizers
formulated specifically for an amputated leg that
can be used inside of the prosthesis.
Can I get a protective cover for my leg?
Sometimes people will request a protective cover for
their prosthesis. Its purpose is to cover and protect
the components of the prosthesis. Measurements of
the sound side leg are taken and the cover is shaped to
look similar to the shape of the sound side leg. Since
a preparatory prosthesis requires many adjustments,
it is not feasible to add a cover to this leg. A cover
may be added to a definitive leg though.
My shrinker socks keep falling off, is there anything
I can do?
Unfortunately, shrinker socks always tend to slip
down. The sock is graded in tension from the bottom
to the top and this tends to make them want to slip
off your leg. You will have to pull them up several
times throughout the day.
Does it matter what shoes I wear with my prosthesis?
Yes, the shoes you wear will make a difference in
how your prosthesis fits and feels. Initially your leg
will be aligned with a shoe on. When you switch shoes
take note of how high the heel is. Switching to a shoe
with the same heel height is not a problem. Most shoes
have a 3/8" heel height. If you wear shoes with more
or less heel than you were originally aligned with,
it can be a problem. Let your prosthetist know that
you intend to wear shoes of varying heights.