As a new amputee, you’re no doubt counting down the days until you get to try on your prosthesis for the first time. And for good reason! Receiving a new arm or leg is exciting, as is the prospect of becoming more mobile.
However, we tend to see the same misconceptions crop up among new amputees regarding their first prosthesis. A few of them include:
1) Life will instantly be normal again.
As much as we wish that could be true, the truth is that learning how to use your prosthesis will take time. You will need to practice using it at your prosthetist’s office, as well as perform the exercises your physical therapist shows you in order to condition your body to use the prosthesis.
2) It will fit the same all the time.
A common complaint among new amputees is that their prosthesis fits well in the clinic, but when they get it home it doesn’t fit. This is actually quite common; your residual limb is going through a lot of changes. The swelling from the surgery may be going up or down. Your limb may be starting to atrophy. You may have eaten or drank something that caused it to swell. Quite a few factors will impact how your prosthesis fits, so don’t be surprised when there are days when it’s too loose or too tight.
3) I already went to the prosthetist… why do I need to go again?
In your first year, it is completely normal to see your prosthetist several times a week. After you’ve adjusted, expect to come in anywhere from twice a month to once every three months. It varies from one person to the next, but we don’t discourage frequent visits!
4) Pain is normal.
Pain is most definitely not normal when you first get your prosthesis! This is a sign that something is wrong, and you need to make an appointment with your prosthetist. However, it is common and completely expected that you will have some discomfort while you adjust.
We understand the importance of the relationships between amputee and prosthetist, which is why we foster strong and open communication. If you’re experiencing a painful or ill-fitting prosthesis, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us today! We can help you get to the bottom of what’s bothering you.