You have just received a state of the art Trans-Tibial prosthetic limb. While it could seem initially overwhelming, you should adapt to wearing it quite quickly. The prosthesis has been fashioned specifically for you, your body style and activity level, today and in the future.
Prior to wearing your prosthesis
If you are receiving your below knee prosthesis for the first time, there are some things you should do to prepare your limb and the prosthesis. You should make sure that your skin is clean and dry. Carefully examine your residual limb (stump) for any sores, blisters or bruising. Should you find any anomalies, contact your prosthetist prior to wearing the limb.
Donning the prosthesis
While the prosthesis was designed individually for your limb to comfortably fit into the socket, there may be several components that are combined to achieve the maximum fit and function. Those components could include a Gel type liner, prosthetic socks or a skin fit vacuum seal device. Your prosthetist should have reviewed the use of one or combinations of these. The key to a comfortable fit is to understand how these are used to obtain a comfortable, functional fit. If you are unclear about them or have questions, ASK!
How long should I wear my prosthetic device?
You are probably anxious to begin your rehabilitation and want to wear your prosthesis full time. It is important not to over-do the time you wear the limb so your tissues become used to the pressure on the bone and skin. The key to a successful rehabilitation is that once you have checked your residual limb and skin for anomalies, determined the correct combination of prosthetic liner and socks as instructed by your prosthetist, assured the correct fit, wear your limb no longer than 15-30 minute intervals (removing it earlier if you notice pain or discomfort). If the fit is comfortable, remove the prosthesis and check your skin for any redness that does not go away within 5 or so minutes, sores or blisters. Gradually increasing the time worn until comfortable full time wear is achieved.
- When sitting, try to keep your knee bent at an angle that is less than 45 degrees
- Remember to ‘Ask Questions’ if you are not sure of anything regarding your device
- Clean device with hypoallergenic soap and water. Do not immerse.
- DO NOT wear your prosthesis to bed.
Check the device for
- Any loose straps attachments
- Cracks, worn areas, sharp edges
- Check your prosthetic socks and liner (if applicable), for worn areas or holes if found do not use them
- Should you have questions, Contact your practitioner prior to wearing the Prosthesis.
Check your residual limb for
- Abnormal redness
- Blisters or sores
- Avoid or limit the use of skin creams or salves