The invention of prosthetics has revolutionized the fields of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation medicine. Today, patients who lost their limbs for whatever reason have a chance for a better functional prognosis due to the availability of prosthetics. This is especially true for pediatric patients who would be devastated without artificial limbs.
In this article, we will briefly discuss some of the measures to take after receiving a prosthetic limb.
What to Do After Receiving a Prosthetic Limb?
Cleansing the limb and socket
The daily cleansing of the residual limb and plastic socket is primordial to avoid bacterial and fungal infections. Therefore, you should use antimicrobial soap to clean the residual limb and the inside of the plastic socket. However, avoid rinsing the limb or shaving it, as it may lead to vascular problems.
Since the residual limb is enclosed in the plastic socket, it is particularly susceptible to perspiration, which is a major risk factor for bacterial infections. Additionally, the accumulation of sweat and bacteria will release a foul smell. To solve this issue, use baking soda or over-the-counter antiperspirants to reduce the activity of sweat glands.
If this problem persists, it might be a good idea to consult your child’s physician.
Watch out for colors!
The colors around the residual limb may be a good indicator of what’s going on inside.
If you notice any redness, blisters, rashes, or other dermatological changes, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Pediatrician or Prosthetist.
Special Considerations in the Pediatric Population
Whether the plastic socket is comfortable or not for your child is fundamental to the prognosis. For instance, if your child finds the socket to be comfortable and fitting to the residual limb, he/she will take full advantage of the functionality that’s offered by the prosthetic. On the other hand, if the child finds difficulties wearing the socket, he/she might simply reject it. In summary, socket fit is very important, and it depends on the Prosthetist’s expertise.
Replacement of the prosthetic limb
Unlike the adult population, children need to replace their prosthetic devices frequently due to their exponential growth. Generally, the prosthetic limb needs to be replaced annually; however, this could vary between patients and is subject to various factors, including the rate of growth, degree of physical activity, and bony overgrowth.
Getting adapted to an artificial prosthetic is extremely important for children to get back to their normal lives as soon as possible. This means that hygiene measures should be given top priority to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences or complications. If you have any questions about pediatric prosthetics, feel free to ask in the comment section below.