Sleigh bells are ringing, chestnuts are roasting over an open fire and Frosty the Snowman is doing his dance. The holidays are here, and if you don’t live in an area that normally receives snow, you may be traveling to visit a region that does. Follow these tips on how to better navigate ice and snow while wearing a lower-limb prosthesis:
Use the Proper Footwear
As a lower-limb amputee, you need to be extra vigilant when it comes to utilizing the right footwear. Make sure that the boots or shoes you wear are insulated enough to keep your prosthesis thoroughly dry. It’s also important that you have a good grip on the ground. Rubber soles can serve this purpose well, and if you need to take additional precaution, wear ice cleats.
Don’t Shy Away from Support
If you’re an above-the-knee (AK) amputee, a double amputee or are still getting accustomed to your prosthesis, it’s best to use some kind of ambulatory aid during icy and snowy weather. Devices such as canes, crutches or walkers offer a small bit of extra stability, which can go a long towards maintaining your balance on icy surfaces. Most home medical equipment (HME) stores and pharmacies carry ice tips that attach onto the ends of canes and crutches, giving you that extra bit of balance.
Keep Your Residual Limb Warm
It’s easy for the cold weather to cause pain and irritation in your residual limb, especially if you’re used to keeping it covered. That’s why it’s important to keep it warm when you are venturing outside without a prosthesis. Your extremities are the first place that frost bite targets, so if you plan on being in cold weather, be sure to keep your residual limb covered.
Be Cautious of All Surfaces
While sidewalks treated with sand or ice may seem safe, they could still be hazardous to lower-limb amputees. Because there’s a barrier between your prosthesis and the surface you may not immediately notice when you start to lose traction. Approach such surfaces with caution, and make sure you have an ambulatory aid handy in case you do need additional stability.
At Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions, we want your days to be merry and bright. Let us help you enjoy the season, weather and all. If it’s time for your prosthesis to receive a tune-up, don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment today.