If you have lost a leg due to an injury, infection, or illness, then you may be eager to start walking normally again. This likely means that you will need a prosthetic leg made for you. Many amputees find great success with prosthetic limbs, but there is one complaint that you will notice; the prosthetic limbs are not comfortable. Prosthetic discomfort is something that is constantly being addressed, so speak with your prosthetic specialist about advancements that can enhance comfort. There are also a variety of things you can do to aid in your own comfort.
Choose The Right Liner
Prosthetic limbs do not simply sit over the bare amputation site. The amputation site is typically quite sensitive with a variety of nerve endings, the bone edge or tip, and a possibly thin skin covering. Since direct pressure on the amputation site can cause a great deal of discomfort, a variety of stockings and liners are made to sit over the stump. This device becomes the liner that sits inside the prosthetic.
Liners are made with a few different features in mind. They must be durable, comfortable, and flexible. Also, a good liner will resist slippage. Slippage of the liner can create a shift in the way the prosthetic fits and create a great deal of discomfort. To reduce this concern, make sure to choose a liner with a locking pin that snaps directly into the prosthetic.
When it comes to liner or sleeve materials, you do have some options. The most common materials include thermoplastic, silicone, and polyurethane. Silicone devices are comfortable and durable and a good choice for beginners. For added comfort, make sure the liner is fitted with a gel cushion on the end.
Make Sure Your Skin Is Dry
While liners and sleeves are made with comfort in mind, you may notice a great deal of irritation due to the accumulation of fluid underneath the sleeve. This can cause a rash or fungal infection or it can simply lead to a very itchy and irritated stump. To reduce this concern, make sure that your leg is completely dry before slipping the sleeve and the prosthetic on. A light sprinkling of baby powder or corn starch can help to reduce friction and irritation caused by sweat as well.
If you do become hot and sweaty after taking a walk outdoors or after wearing your prosthetic for hours at a time, then give your leg a break. Remove the prosthetic and let your skin air dry for 10 or 15 minutes. Carry a clean cotton cloth with you as well, so you can wipe down the inside of the sleeve and the prosthetic.
For more information, contact a center such as Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics.