Something that Gulf Coast Prosthetics takes immense pride in is the ability to create and provide the best solutions to amputees in and around the greater Houston area as well as providing above and beyond customer service. Though, as prosthetic technology evolves and even when the customer service is great there will always be the potential of discomfort and other common issues with your prosthesis. Here are a few things that amputees can keep in mind to maximize comfort through the use of prosthetic limb.
1.) Personal Hygiene
I, personally, feel as if this one is the most important thing to look out for and take care of. There are a number of things that could go wrong with poor personal hygiene and the use of prosthesis. Wearing a prosthesis, especially with a gel liner and/or sleeve can be interpreted, metaphorically as wearing a latex suit. All of your sweat throughout the hot days is held with this gel liner/sleeve. It is really important to take off your prosthesis each and every day and clean the interface with alcohol. If you do not do this, you know the sweat build-up I previously mentioned? Yes, that same sweat build-up, as gross and humanly as it sounds, can cause extremely bad things. There is always the chance of obtaining a fungal issue, also, this can contribute to ingrown hair growth, sore spots, and rubbing your leg raw causing deeper issues and a longer wait time until you can wear your prosthesis again. There are many sprays that can help with perspiration, but as with everything, it really is the best option to use a scent-free antiperspirant as well as using PH-friendly, natural, scent-free soap.
2.) Communicate with your Prosthetist
The second most important thing to do on this list is to speak with your prosthetist. If you feel that something isn’t right, call them up ASAP. Nick Creason, our prosthetist at Gulf Coast Prosthetics, as well as my own personal Prosthetist, is great at answering phone calls and answering any questions you may have. I ask questions at least 3-4 times a month and most of the time my questions are able to be answered over the phone. It is always important to express any discomfort when you’re in for a fitting. Remember, speak up. Do not ever feel wrong or embarrassed for speaking up. This is your life, the ability to live a more accessible life and it’s your Prosthetist’s duty to make sure you are living it comfortably and efficiently.
3.) Physical Therapy and Healthy Dieting
Physical therapy and exercising go hand-in-hand. It’s important that you seek treatment from a physical therapist because even though you might think you don’t need it, you do. This way, all of your issues and trouble spots are caught quickly and are able to be resolved. Healthy dieting is also important, or you’ll be like me, not being able to fit into your AK socket because those carne asada fries were just too good to pass up. Oh, how I wish an eye roll would transfer over through text. So, make sure that you are taking care of your body. It is your temple, or something like that. Drink water, love your body, get exercise. If you aren’t sure where to start… BA-BA-DA-BAAA Myah to the rescue, with some handy-dandy work out tips and tricks. Lift small weights (cans of soup, vegetables, or beans will also suffice), while you’re watching TV, put your bum to the edge of the couch, lift your bottom half up and down – sort of like a reverse crunch. If you’re in a position where things like rowing machines, or those hand bikes aren’t available to you, then try something else. Babysit your niece, nephew, best friends baby (you get the idea) and after a while chasing and constantly picking up that small gremlin child will give you the exercise you need for the week. Haha, kidding. But really that’s a great way to get the heart a’pumpin’ and an awesome way to have fun and bond with a loved one! It’s important to stay in motion, as soon as I find a way for a bilateral amputee to do squats/lunges I will get back to you guys. And if one of you already know a way, let my pancake-butt know, ‘cause baby wants back.