A prosthesis can greatly improve your quality of life. The additional mobility of a lower limb prosthesis can get you back on your feet, and an upper extremity prosthesis can make daily activities much easier.
And with this ease will come a lot of use. We wash our clothes after we wear them because of the tendency to get dirty throughout the day, along with the unavoidable aspects of movement such as perspiration.
So how do you keep your prosthesis in good condition despite daily use? There are some best practices that you should take into account to make sure you get a continued quality experience as well as a long lifespan for the prosthesis itself.
Here are some tips and tricks to ensure a healthy and happy experience with your prosthesis:
- Wash Liners Daily
- Plan Ahead With Extra Socks
- Use Gentle Soap
- Check Surrounding Skin Twice Daily
- Avoid Shaving
- Shower at Night
- Make Sure the Socket Fits Properly
- Stay in Contact With a Professional
Wash Liners Daily
There can be a variety of materials used inside of your prosthesis to make it more comfortable for the wearer. These materials are in direct contact with your skin throughout the course of the day. This exposes them to sweat and heat buildups that can become uncomfortable if left unchecked.
Cleaning these liners at the end of every day will help avoid the build up bacteria, which can become harmful over time.
Plan Ahead With Extra Socks
Those who wear a prosthesis frequently use items such as socks to provide extra comfort and protection inside of the prosthesis. Carrying extra liners or socks will give you the ability to further avoid the buildup of potentially harmful bacteria.
This is particularly true if you are planning to exercise. The ability to replace the liner inside your prosthesis will make the rest of your day much more comfortable.
Use Gentle Soap
Washing your prosthesis should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Gentle soap is often utilized to cleanse the materials without further wearing them out.
This type of care should also be applied to the area on which the prosthesis is used. This skin can become just as dirty as the surrounding materials and needs to be cleaned to help avoid the growth of bacteria.
Check Surrounding Skin Twice Daily
The easiest way to remember to do this is make it inspect the area before you put your prosthesis on at the start of the day, and again when you take it off at the end.
Look for signs of irritation or breaks in the skin. Compromised areas will only get worse over time and can become much larger problems if left unchecked.
Don’t shave the area on which the prosthesis will be placed. This might lead to ingrown hairs, which can become infected. Infections can spread and become quite dangerous. Notify a doctor if you find an ingrown hair or any other type of skin lesion. Never pick or pop a blemish.
Shaving will also make your skin more susceptible to irritation.
Shower at Night
This is particularly true for new amputees, but can be beneficial to everyone. Showering can make your limb swell. And if you secure your prosthetic while your limb is swelled, you’ll run into problems later in the day.
Showering at night will help avoid this situation. You also won’t have to wait around for your skin to completely dry before you get out the door in the morning.
Make Sure the Socket Fits Properly
Inspect your skin for pressure marks from the prosthesis. This can be a sign that it is not fitting properly, which can lead to damage on the device as well as injuries to the area.
Immediately contact your doctor if you feel your prosthesis is not fitting properly, as well as to discuss any potential damage to the area.
Stay in Contact With a Professional
Any problems with your prosthesis will necessitate a call to your local specialist. Bulow Orthotics & Prosthetic Solutions services Nashville, TN and the surrounding communities with expert care. Any discomfort, skin lesions, or general malfunctioning of a prosthesis can be addressed by a professional. This is the only way to make sure you aren’t damaging surrounding tissue.
A properly-functioning prosthesis can be a life changer. Taking care of that prosthesis ensures you continue to experience these benefits as you move forward.
Do you have questions about a current prosthesis, or perhaps questions about getting one of your own?