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Prosthetics

Prosthetic assessment and fitting appointment.
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Introduction

What is Prosthetics?

Prosthetics is a specialist field allied to medicine which focuses on the design, production and use of Prostheses.

Prostheses are devices which are used to artificially replace any part of the body that may be lost due to disease or trauma, or those born with a congenital limb difference.

A clinician that practices within the field of Prosthetics is called an Prosthetist.

overview
W

e design custom Prosthetic solutions for all levels of lower and upper limb loss using clinically-appropriate technology and state-of-the-art components. There are many components, socket types and suspension methods available. We take pride in working closely with our patients to design a Prosthesis that works for you at home, during work and as part of sport.

Man standing with prosthetic leg.

Lower Limb

Below Knee (Transtibial)
This is the most common level of amputation and refers to amputation or absence of the leg below the knee.  The socket is attached to your residual limb and is used to control the Prosthesis.  A well-fitting socket allows for the pressures of walking to be spread over the entire surface of the residual limb so that high pressure is not felt on the sometimes sensitive, cut end of bone. A liner, either made from a firm foam or silicone rubber can be used to improve comfort between the residual limb and socket. The Prosthesis is usually suspended using a rubber liner that attaches over the socket and extends onto the thigh.

Above Knee (Transfemoral)
Transfemoral amputations (above-knee) occur above the knee joint, through the femur bone. A transfemoral prosthesis includes the knee and/ or ankle joints and pylons to mimic the thigh, calf, and joints in the knee, ankle, and foot.​ The pelvis is often used as load bearing or suspension site.

Upper Limb

Partial Hand or Wrist
Upper-limb amputations present a very different challenge. The human hand is difficult to replicate in comparison to a foot or knee due to it's intricate movements. Often patients will opt for a Prosthetic arm that is cosmetically appealing, allowing them to maintain a symmetrical body image. There are a wide variety of functional devices that can be used in place of a hand – such as a hook, tool holder, knife or steering wheel attachment. Other myoelectric or microprocessor devices are available but they can present a steeper learning and adjustment curve.

Myoelectric & Microprocessor Devices
Myoelectric devices use sensors placed against the skin to pick up small electrical charges that can be programmed to perform a particular task such as opening and closing the hand.

Sports & Recreation

We provide Prostheses for specific activities such as sport or hobbies. Our clinicians have experience designing Prostheses for a wide range including blade feet for running,  water-resistant components for use in the shower, getting around at a swimming pool or walking on the beach, and specialist knees for cycling, skiing and more.

Amputee Considerations.

Protect your limb

The use of a limb protector immediately after surgery will help manage swelling and accelerate healing to better prepare you for your first prosthetic fitting.

Take care of your limb

Monitoring the health of your skin is the best way to identify any problems. Inspect your skin on a daily basis and look for any changes paying attention to signs of broken tissue, blisters, tears, scratches, or cuts. If you notice any changes to your skin, notify the healthcare team immediately.

Phantom pain

The experience of phantom pain varies for different individuals, and has been described as a wide range of sensations from cramping, aching, burning, or a nerve. Keep a log of when it occurs, and try to identify and eliminate any triggers.

Rehabilitation team

Rehabilitation relies on the combined efforts of many healthcare professionals. The team will include your Surgeon, Prosthetist, Physiotherapist and more. The best outcomes are achieved when you ask questions, say what you are thinking, and engage with your care team to clearly discuss options and issues.

Exercise & stretching

During the early stages, a Physiotherapist may recommend exercises to condition and strengthen your residual limb. Doing daily strengthening and stretching exercises at home will help improve your flexibility and prevent contractures.

Attitude & focus

Patience, persistence, and positivity are essential to adjusting to your new normal. Focus on your health and quality of life with help from the wider healthcare team. Have the right attitude to make yourself continuous, tangible goals that can be realistically achieved within a set time frame.