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A Guide for First-Time Prosthetic Users

A prosthetic limb holds evidence of the technological advancements happening in the industry. Nonetheless, adjusting to wearing one can be challenging and transformative simultaneously. First-time users are most likely to find the experience overwhelming, but it can become an empowering time with the right measures. This guide explores what you should expect at a prosthetic fitting and how to care for it effectively. It will also touch on insurance, plus tips for wearing a prosthetic and the crucial rehabilitation process.

Prosthetic fitting

Usually, the first step in your prosthetic journey is the fitting stage. It is the only way the prosthetist can create or design a personalised artificial limb for you. The most important thing here is creating a prosthetic that makes your life easier and meets your needs and lifestyle.

You should be ready to have your residual limb examined at this stage. The reason is to get the measurements and fitting right to make you comfortable and functional. Patience during the process, especially during the measurement stage, is vital. The prosthetist may need to retake the values more than once to reduce the margin of error. Without multiple measurements at the fitting, you may be unhappy with the final product made personally for you. Therefore, it is better to accommodate several adjustments at this stage for an increased chance of getting the best for you.

Building confidence in wearing a prosthetic limb

It is natural to be eager to wear your prosthetic limb and use it immediately. The tip, however, is to ease into it gradually. Your body needs time to adjust to the new feel of wearing something like a prosthetic leg. Ideally, the first few times will require wearing it for short periods. You can then gradually increase the duration as your body feels more comfortable wearing something like a prosthetic arm for longer periods.

Listening to your body and how it responds to the prosthetic is recommended. People who have lost an arm or leg say the residual limb makes them feel incapable of living a good quality life. As a result, there is a likelihood of wearing the new prosthetic limb for longer periods than recommended. Remember that the journey to becoming a proficient prosthetic user is not one to be rushed. Patience is key.

Does a prosthetic hurt?

If you are concerned about pain, you are not alone. Indeed, some level of discomfort as a first-time user is to be expected. However, your new prosthetic should not cause you persistent pain at all. If it does, you must inform the prosthetist immediately to make the necessary adjustments for your comfort. You must contact your prosthetist if you experience persistent pain as a first timer.

Another thing to remember is how you strap your prosthetic arm or leg on the residual limb. If you fail to follow the prosthetist’s instructions, you will likely feel pain. In other words, your pain may have nothing to do with the prosthetic. It could be your oversight or strapping error.

Prosthetic cleaning and care

Like everything else, proper maintenance will ensure that your prosthetic limb functions for a long time. Always check with your provider before cleaning to check on the specific requirements.

Regular care normally entails cleaning the prosthesis daily with mild soap and water. Additionally, your prosthetist may advise against harsh detergents to avoid damaging it. Pay critical attention to any attached sockets or detachable components your prosthetic arm or leg came with.

Another thing you should do regularly is check for signs of wear and tear. It is easy to overlook early signs of damage; before you know it, you may have to pay for expensive repairs or replacements. A well-maintained prosthesis will enhance your wearing experience and likely give you minimal problems. If the prosthetic leg or arm came with a manual or set of instructions, it would be in your interest to read and understand it before first use. Please read it occasionally in case you missed essential details.

Embracing rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is an essential part of your prosthetic journey. You will work with a team of specialists, including occupational therapists, who will do all they can to help you transition into your new way of life.

They will guide you to build strength, increase flexibility, and, most importantly, guide you to get comfortable with your prosthetic rehabilitation. It is a team effort, and each team member plays a specific role meant to ease you into your prosthetic use. You will also realise at this stage that the rehabilitation process moves at your pace and your comfort. No two persons are the same, so the specialists work with that knowledge during rehabilitation.

Insuring your prosthetic with Fish Insurance

Remember that your prosthetic eye, leg, or arm is an investment to be protected. Fish Insurance offers cover for those who wear prosthetics. To find out more, visit our Prosthetic Insurance page.

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