Is a Prosthetic Limb Right for You?
Although the use of prosthetics is increasing day by day there are still some patients that are either hesitant towards the procedure or are unsatisfied with their artificial limbs. The reason for this is the lack of knowledge and guidance.
TYPES OF PROSTHETICS
The prosthetics can be divided into two categories based on their site of attachments. PERMANENT PROSTHETICS: These are the instruments that are placed inside the body through surgical methods. Dynamic hip screw for Intra trochlear fractures and Austin Moore Prosthesis for hip replacement surgeries are examples of permanent prosthetics. REMOVABLE PROSTHETICS: Most of the prosthetics are removable and are worn during the times of activities. They consist of sockets, shafts and other components to provide articulation with the remaining limb.
PROS OF A PROSTHETIC LIMB
MOBILITY: The greatest advantage of prosthetics if for bilateral amputees that should no longer be confined to the wheelchair. They are offered another chance to walk normally again. FEWER EFFORTS: Those people that were dependant on canes and crutches can choose to go for a lower limb prosthetic. In this way, they can ditch the efforts required by the cane or crunches. WIDER RANGES OF MOTION: Now that the technology has been enough advanced the amputees are offered such prosthetics that can mimic various ranges offered at a specific joint. SPORTS PROSTHETICS: As this field developed several prosthetics were introduced so that the amputees can once again enjoy those activities that were restricted by their deformity. SOCIAL INDEPENDENCE: Amputees after suffering from such events are dependent on others for daily chores even if it is against their will. Getting a prosthetic can enable them to perform their regular activities without much help. PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING: These devices are life-changing for such patients who can once again be indulged in the outer world without having the fear of social judgments. This all has a positive effect on the mental peace of the amputee and his family. The optimistic future offered by prosthesis can help the patient to move on from the psychological trauma of losing a limb.
CONS OF A PROSTHETIC LIMB
The disadvantages of getting an artificial limb are comparatively less and mostly the patients opt for getting prosthetics despite the cons. PAIN: The process of getting the limb and learning to use it, especially for walking, can be very painful. The pain experienced in the first few weeks is quite intense because of the inadaptability of the muscles to carry the body weight. VARIABILITY: The results of prosthetic devices vary from person to person and sometimes the amputees have no benefit from the artificial limb at all. This depends on the condition of joints, the presence of enough soft tissue for articulation and the reason behind amputation. EXPENSES: The advanced prosthetics are very expensive and not everyone can afford them. Also, these devices are prone to damage by daily use, water and even conditions of weather and climate. So, it might be essential to adjust the equipment or get a new one. This all adds up to the total expenses.
A patient needs to have a detailed discussion of the pros and cons with the consultant before getting a prosthetic limb. The doctor can tell about the type that is better suitable depending upon the condition of a patient and even provide alternatives for the case.