Traverse City Prosthetics Specialists Discuss Prosthetics for Adolescents

Adolescents who require prosthetics need to be properly fitted by Traverse City prosthetic specialists that really understand their needs. Children and teens are notorious for getting bumps and bruises, having unique ways of expressing themselves and working through emotional issues in their own way.  A professional Traverse City prosthetics specialist will understand this and help them find the right prosthetic to hold up to the battery, and support them physically and emotionally in any way possible.

Every child is an individual and may feel differently about the need to have a prosthetic limb. Often the reaction of the adolescent will vary depending how or why they need to use prostheses. Generally, children who were born with a missing limb will perceive a prosthetic device as an aid. Some teens prescribed upper limb prosthetics may choose not to use them, preferring to work with their stump. Other congenitally limb-deficient kids will adapt to using different prosthetics and want to use them to facilitate their activities and daily living, particularly for lower limbs.

Conversely, those who have lost a limb either through a traumatic accident or as a result of cancer or other disease may struggle to accept the need for a prosthetic device or find adjusting to using the artificial limb a challenge emotionally and physically as they heal. They may be self-conscious or it is also possible they are aware their family members are struggling to accept the change. Sensitivity to their feelings around the loss and compassionate care are essential to helping teens in this situation adjust and transition to using a prosthetic limb.

Adolescent clients will have different concerns than younger pediatric clients or adult clients. Teens generally want to be accepted by their peers and do not want to stand out. They may decide not to wear a prosthetic device until they feel their peers accept it or they may try to hide it by disguising it with clothing styles. One challenge with some of the prostheses that look more real are made of softer materials which will not be as durable, however the Traverse City prosthetic specialists at Teter can create very durable lifelike prosthetics if needed.

It is important for prosthetic professionals to understand the potential for teens to feel uncomfortable with needing to use prostheses and validate their feelings. They will need to help the teen gain confidence in using the prosthetic limb and offer choices in the style and type and even recommend strategies for coping.

There are also adolescents who will embrace their limb difference and want to make a statement. In this case the prosthetist could offer a customized prosthetic cover imprinted with a fun and colorful design that says something about their personality.

Depending on how active the child or teen is, certain types of prosthetic devices will offer durability to withstand sports. There are lightweight carbon graphite sports prostheses, microprocessor options, and specially adapted limbs for showering, skiing, swimming and running.

Children grow, often in spurts, and may require socket revisions or prosthetic replacements as their residual limbs change. Depending on their age and genetics some adolescents may need biannual replacements while others may be okay with every few years.

The financial strain for some families of dealing with alterations or replacements is a very real concern. There are some prostheses made from materials that are more adaptable and some prosthetic specialists like Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics will provide biomechanical evaluations at no charge. We have over 20 Michigan locations from Petoskey to Traverse City, Cadillac, Grand Rapids and beyond and over 45 years of experience serving Michigan families. We accept a wide variety of health insurance plans and we can work out an extended payment plan to cover care. Contact a Traverse City
prosthetics specialis
t or other member of our team today.

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