If you are a recent amputee there are some things you can do on a regular basis to improve and enhance the use of your prosthesis. If you are looking to maximize the use of your prosthesis and achieve success in your daily life following amputation, these 9 tips can help:
Be a good patient
Follow your prosthetist’s orders and examine your residual limb on a daily basis for any issues that would need to be an addressed. Also, keep the insides of your liners clean and when necessary wear prosthetic socks to enhance the fit. You also may want to consider wearing a shrinker overnight to help mold your residual limb and reduce swelling.
If you are experiencing any issues with comfort or fit or even skin issues don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call as soon as you see or feel an issue. A small issue can become a larger one if you wait too long.
Create goals for yourself
At first, make small goals for yourself involving daily physical activity and increase those steps gradually. Always challenge yourself to do a little more each day.
Wear your prosthesis every day
The more you wear your new prosthesis you will get more accustomed to wearing it regularly. If it has a comfortable fit you could wear it all day long until bedtime getting your body used to it quicker.
Trial and error
When you are a new amputee you will have to do a bit of experimental work as your residual limb changes. You will need to focus on the way it feels in the socket and become knowledgeable about how you can change it for the better. Possibilities include taking away or adding the partial or full-length prosthetic socks or even removing and re-donning a slipped liner.
Don’t forget to exercise
You will need to build up strength in the remaining muscles so that you can stand and walk with a balanced and efficient gait. This takes a bit of time and effort on your part. We recommend every new amputee work with a physical therapist to help with the learning process.
Keep an eye on your weight
After your amputation, you will likely be a bit less active during the initial recovery period. You need to watch your weight during this time and understand that socket fit can change depending on your weight. Try to maintain a healthy diet even though you are not quite as active. Your activity level will build back up again once you are accustomed to the prosthesis.
Amputees all have something in common. Going through daily life as a new amputee can be challenging at times and everybody deals with it a bit differently. A great way to help with the adjustment is to seek out a support group. Meeting and talking with other amputees is a great way to feel supported as well and to discuss issues that you may have been having with others in the same situation.
Take a look positive ahead
As a new amputee, you may be feeling disheartened and frustrated. You need to focus on the future and keep your goals in mind. With positive thinking and a lot of effort on your part, you can live your best life with a prosthesis. Even though every day may not be what you expect over time you will become an experienced prosthesis user.
The experts at OP Centers are here to help and support you throughout your journey as you get accustomed to your prosthesis. We will assist you in living your life to the fullest potential.