Limb loss generally refers to the absences of any part of an extremity (arm or leg) due to surgical or traumatic amputation. The term, Limb Differences, is used in reference to the congenital absence or malformation of limbs
While it differs depending on how quickly you heal, a healthy person with good circulation and no post-operative complications might be ready to use a temporary prosthesis as soon as 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. If possible, it is always beneficial to consult with a Prosthetist prior to amputation.
We recommend wrapping your residual limb at all times and elevated whenever possible to reduce the edema (swelling).
This feeling is called Phantom Sensation or Phantom Pain and most amputees experience it. It is real and can be minimal or very severe. Phantom Sensation applies to two feelings: 1 – The feeling of actually having your limb after it has been amputated and 2 – pain that feels like it comes from your residual limb
There is no exact answer to what causes Phantom Sensation, and it continues to be debated. Below are some suggested causes of Phantom Sensation that come directly from amputees experiencing PS:
Pain issues before amputation – Some amputees believe pain issues in muscles, joints, tendons, etc. simply continue as Phantom Sensations post amputation.
Stress – Some amputees find that stress, whether physical or mental, seems to intensify their phantom pain.
Inactivity – Some amputees find an increase in Phantom Sensation if they are inactive and/or stay in the same position for an extended period of time. They have found it helpful to make sure blood flow is not limited or impinged by how they are sitting.
You should examine your residual limb daily. Make sure to check all parts of your limb. Call your prosthetist immediately if you notice any skin changes such as blisters, redness, soreness, swelling, pain or drainage.
The type of prosthesis that we manufacture is an artificial limb that replaces a missing extremity: leg, foot, toes, arm, hand or fingers. The prosthesis is comprised of a socket and components. The socket fits over the remaining portion of the limb or body. The components are the mechanical or electrical parts that attach to the socket. A prosthesis can be functional, cosmetic, or both.
No. A good fitting prosthesis should not hurt. While there are some amputees that have unique conditions where they experience chronic pain, most amputees should be comfortable in their sockets. Socket fit is the most integral part of your prosthesis. All of the high tech prosthetic components available are useless if you cannot wear your prosthesis because it hurts. It is imperative to communicate what you are feeling to your Prosthetist so you achieve a comfortable socket.
No. Unless you have a prosthesis specifically designed for water use, you may not shower or bathe with it. Confirm with your Prosthetist if your prosthesis may be used for showering.
Most people can resume their sports activities using their prosthesis. Today, advances have been made that allow amputees to participate in practically any sport imaginable. There are professional amputee racecar drivers, professional amputee skiers, professional amputee kiteboarders, and even professional amputee runners, such as Oscar Pistorius, who are trying to compete in the Olympics against able-bodied runners.
There are many different suspension methods – you should discuss the best for your needs with your prosthetist. Some limbs are suspended using suction, some using vacuum-assisted socket design, some using pin liners, etc.