There are many care tips that need to be followed after installing a prosthetic limb. Replacing the prosthesis within its first year and consulting with the doctor are only two essential steps to take. The rehabilitation period is the most difficult time, so a patient must be on high alerts for any problems that may occur. The following are four tips to follow for maintaining the best condition for your limb.
- Wash the Limb Daily
Your new limb is now a regular part of your body like your arm or leg. Like any part of your body, bathe or shower every day to remove dirt and bacteria, so wash the prosthetic limb at least once a day. However, simply rinsing the limb off with water is not effective enough, and you must use a washcloth with soap and water.
- Cover the Limb When Outdoors
Protect this limb from the harsh outdoor elements, whether it’s the rain, wind, heat or cold. You cannot feel the prosthetic limb because it’s not connected to nerves and muscles, but that doesn’t mean that you should allow it to become damaged by the weather.
A prosthetic limb is more difficult to use when it’s frozen solid or soaking wet from being unprotected for too long. Cover your prosthetic with the proper clothing just as if it’s a natural limb. For your prosthetic leg, wear comfortable shoes that are the right size, and avoid walking around in harsh weather for more than a few hours.
- Keep Your Body Healthy
A prosthetic limb is attached to a natural part of your body. On this residual limb, look for reddened or painful marks on the skin. The prosthetic has to fit perfectly and adapt to any changes in your body. If your muscles become weakened or loosened, the device may become loose and prevent you from using a full range of movements. Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep your body in a strong, healthy condition and prevent any serious problems with your prosthetic device.
Part of being healthy involves visiting the doctor regularly, whether it’s a prosthetist, physical therapist or primary care physician, and following his or her instructions precisely. Patients should avoid determining their own medical plans when they’re not qualified to do so or skipping past a few, important steps.
- Practice Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
An artificial limb cannot be used on a weakened body part. It’s important to keep the muscles and nerves as strong and stable as possible. A physical rehabilitation therapist may require that you perform regular bouts of muscle strengthening exercises. Perform these exercises in the therapist’s office or at home. However, avoid overtraining the body because if the muscles become too tired, this creates the same effects as undertraining.
Every client has a different story after being fitted with an artificial limb. Nevertheless, you cannot wear a prosthesis when you are in poor health and have weak muscles or a residual disease that prevents a secure fitting. Every person is required to stick to a personal care plan that must be followed every single day.