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Post Surgery
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Prosthetic Anatomy

Frequently 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.