Concerns About Prosthetics

Never underestimate the importance of well-fitting prostheses to your health and comfort.

Here are some of the most common problems and concerns for daily living with a prosthesis:

• Chafing
• Discomfort bearing weight
• Ongoing pain
• Perspiration of the residual limb
• Phantom pain
• Skin abrasions, including blisters or wounds
• Skin issues such as contact dermatitis or sebaceous cysts
• Swelling

The cause in many of these cases is a socket that doesn’t fit as well as it should. When a socket is not a snug fit, the resulting gap allows the residual limb to move more than it should; and the result is often sores, blisters, and ongoing pain.

Experienced prosthetic practitioners know that fitting well distributes the weight and pressure evenly over areas of the residual limb that can tolerate regular pressure. Evidence shows that a good fit can also help ease phantom pain.

Sometimes prostheses that cause pain or discomfort are too tight. When the socket is too constrictive, it can inhibit circulation and cause swelling – or friction that results in skin abrasions.

Problems with how well prostheses fit can be related to fluctuations in body weight. If you gain or lose weight, it can have an impact on the fit of your prosthesis. Any major changes should prompt a visit to our prosthetic specialists in Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey–and elsewhere in Michigan!

Excessive perspiration can aggravate your skin so try to always wear clean, dry socks with your prosthesis. If you know you’re going to be out for several hours, it may be worth bringing along a change of socks for the residual limb to guard against the friction that will cause blisters. It pays to be vigilant because a moist environment can lead to different skin problems.

Make cleaning the socket of your prosthesis a part of your regular routine; if you’re not sure what to do, ask your prosthetist about appropriate care of your artificial limb. Similarly, check your amputation site for any irritated areas or sores and make sure you do any exercises as recommended by your physical therapist.

When you want a good fit for your prosthesis or help troubleshooting any issues, contact us at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics! We have been offering expert prosthetic services since 1955 at more than 20 locations in Michigan including Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and Marquette.

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