When an important extremity such as an arm or leg is lost or amputated, a prosthesis or a prosthetic device fills the void and plays an extremely vital role in rehabilitation and recovery to lead a normal life once again. For most people, prosthetic devices improve stability, mobility and the ability of them to manage daily tasks and house chores. Moreover, it also provides a good way to stay independent throughout their lives.
Prostheses Parts and Types
There is a wide variety of prosthetic devices that are designed with various functions and in most cases, look just like a natural leg, arm or limb. Although the field of prosthetics have gone a long way and many new types of prostheses have come to the market but the basic design of a prosthetic device includes:
· A socket mostly made of carbon fiber into where the amputated limb’s stump fits.
· A suspended carrier that holds the prosthetic device on to the stump shrinker.
· The shaft.
· The hand, foot or hook.
· A hard covering, mostly for cosmetic/realistic appearances.
The socket in the prostheses is often aligned with thermo foam or silicone gel to protect the stump shrinker. Moreover, a pair of socks are also worn over the stump shrinker to ensure that the prostheses properly fit in place or originally lost arm, leg or limb.
Lower Leg and Foot
Prosthetic devices for feet are able to regulate the natural functioning of the feet after the surgery or amputation just below the knee. One joint movement of the ankle-knee prostheses is controlled by the in-built microprocessor. The prosthesis device takes feedback from the generated electrical signals to make walking, sitting and standing more efficient for the wearer.
Leg with Knee
For the amputee with a lost leg and knee, there are prosthetic devices with an ankle joint and a knee. Currently, there are more than 100 models of prosthetic devices with an ankle joint and a knee.
Some use the phenomenon of fluid mechanics to vary the speed at which the wearer walks. While some devices use motorized devices to make real-time adjustments while standing or walking.
Arm and Hand
The most common prosthetic device for the arm is the one that moves with own body movements. While new models use a rechargeable battery that improves the strength and gripping power of the prosthetic arm or hook.
Choosing and Using A Prosthesis
There are a number of factors that involve choosing the best prosthetic device for yourself. These include:
· The level and position of the amputation.
· The physical condition of the remaining limb.
· Your physical activity involvement.
· Your needs and specific goals.
The prostheses are only recommended and fitted by a practitioner known as the ‘prosthetist’. The fitting of the prosthesis might take time. however, the prosthetist begins the process just after the amputation swelling is gone and the incision down the line is healed.
Here is why you need a prosthetist:
· Fashioning of the stump and socket.
· Making a mold or plaster.
· Joining the shaft.
· Aligning and fitting the prosthesis properly.
· Covering the stump with silicone gel.
Usually, after the prosthetic device fitting, the amputees consult a physiotherapist that trains how to use it/take care of it.