LOWER LIMB PROSTHETICS

What are Lower Limb Prosthetics?


Lower limb prosthetics are artificial substitutes of lower body parts that are missing. The lower limb refers to those areas of the body that are below the waist. Examples of such prosthetics include prosthetic knees, prosthetic ankles, and prosthetic feet.


Prescription of a Lower Limb Prosthesis


This process is the first step in getting a prosthetic device. During this, a Prosthetist prescribes a prosthesis for you. The type of prosthesis prescribed depends upon the type, shape, and function of the residual limb. The Prosthetist also decides the design of the prosthetic, which will affect the rehab process.


Types of Lower Limb Prosthesis


The two most common types of lower limb prosthetics include;

Transfemoral which is also the other name for above the knee prosthetics.

Transtibial which is also known as below the knee prosthetics.


Components of Lower Limb Prosthesis


A lower limb prosthetic consists of some basic components. These components may vary depending upon the design and specificity. However, the basic components will remain the same:

•Socket

•Interface (the point of contact between skin and liner)

•Suspension

•Pylon or the frame

•If required, a knee unit is also present

•The complex of foot and ankle

•A hip joint (If required)


The two components that play the most crucial role in this are interface and pylon. The interface is the contact between the prosthesis and the remaining limb.


The Material of Lower Limb Prosthesis Interface


The material of the prosthetic interface is either a hard and rigid or soft material. Some common materials, which used in the preparation of interface include:

•Pelite liners

•Urethane liners

•Silicon liners

•Gel liners

•Sometimes a hard surface is directly attached to the socket


The Frame of Lower Limb Prosthesis


The frame of the prosthetic decides the joining of the rest of the components together. This frame is one of two types:

1. Exoskeleton

The exoskeleton is the most commonly used. It is a rigid surface with exterior lamination from down the socket. It contains a lightweight filler inside.

2. Endoskeleton

This type of frame contains a pipe-like structure called pylon. The pylons are of aluminum, stainless steel, or a mixture of these metals.


The physicians should consider all the factors while prescribing a prosthesis. The expert or a member of the prosthetic team must make this decision. Even then, the patient can and cannot comply with the prescribed prosthetic. The identification of this issue is usually during the rehabilitation phase.

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