No 27,Obagi Street,GRA Phase1,
Port Harcourt, Rivers State
We’re open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions
A prosthesis is simply a tool. It is an artificial replacement for a missing limb or part of a limb that can help you regain independence after your amputation. Choosing to use one, or not, depends on your personal goals. The best prosthesis is one that will help you reach your goals. Some important things to ask yourself are:
- What do you want to be able to do with the prosthesis?
- What activities do you plan to do?
- Do you want to walk or run?
- Do you care about the way it looks?
There is no one device that is best for everyone. The key to success is working with your doctor, prosthetist and therapists to address your needs and concerns. Your prosthetist will work with you on design and fit. Your physical and occupational therapists will work with you to teach you how to use your new prosthesis.
Each device will be different, depending on the level of your amputation, physical ability and needs. Your prosthetist will create a device that is custom-made to fit you. Your prosthetist will make suggestions based on the type of amputation and your activity level. A prosthesis is basically an extension of your body. A standard prosthesis is made of conventional component parts that create the leg and prosthetic foot. These parts are connected to a socket that fits over your residual limb.
The socket allows the prosthetic device to connect to your residual limb. An additional layer, called a liner, fits over your residual limb and provides a barrier between your skin and the socket. The liner provides cushion and comfort while providing a better fit for the socket. It is essential that the socket fits correctly. A poorly fitted socket can lead to pain, sores and blisters on your residual limb. The most common socket options are suction, vacuum and pin lock.
A prosthesis can look however you want it to. From the purely functional look of the mechanical parts to a cosmetic cover that looks like a natural limb, your options are endless. If you want to make a fashion statement, you can have your socket covered in your favorite team’s logo or accessorize it with your favorite color or pattern. The prosthesis is an extension of you and your style – wear it proudly!
Some amputees find a wheelchair or crutches to be helpful in reaching their goals. The type of assistive device you use is your choice. You should use the device that will help you live the life you want to live. This may mean using a wheelchair or crutches for some activities. Many amputees have a wheelchair or pair of crutches that they use at least part of the time. They may use them for nighttime trips to the bathroom, showering, traveling long distances, or if problems arise that require leaving the prosthesis off for a period of time. This is an individual decision, based on your needs and comfort level.
You should be able to get back to a normal level of functioning within a few months. This new normal will depend on the location of your amputation as well as your overall health and well-being. Your prosthesis will be a tool to help you do the things you used to. How well you do depends on your goals, a comfortable prosthetic fitting, follow-up care, and determination. It is common to spend about six months to a year working with a rehabilitation team. The first year following an amputation is tough. There will be changes in the shape and size of your residual limb. A lot of work will be needed to recondition muscles. Your body will need to relearn activities, gait, balance and coordination.
You will continue to improve with time and effort. It is important to have a strong support network around you for this journey.
Depending on your age, activity level and growth, the prosthesis can last anywhere from several months to several years. In the early stages after limb loss, many changes occur in the residual limb that can lead to shrinking of the limb. This may require socket changes, liners, or even a different device. Increased activity level and a desire to do more activities can create a need for a change in the prosthesis or its parts. Once you are comfortable with the fit of your device, the prosthesis needs only minor repairs or maintenance and can last an average of three years. Your prosthesis should be regularly checked by your prosthetist to avoid any major problems.
Learning to use a prosthesis is a tough job. It takes time, effort, strength, patience and determination. Your prosthetist should give you some training on using your prosthesis. Many people find it helpful to work with a physical therapist who is familiar with amputees. Much like learning how to operate a car, there is a lot to learn at the beginning. It will become second nature with practice. Your prosthetist should teach you how to:
- Take care of the prosthesis
- Put on (don) and take off (doff) the prosthesis
- Walk on different types of surfaces, including stairs and uneven surfaces.
A physical or occupational therapist can teach you to:
- Handle emergencies safely, including falling down and getting up again
- Perform daily activities at home, work and in a car
- Improve your gait to help you walk better
- Try out new things you may be unsure about, including sports and other recreational activities.