What are leg prostheses and how can they transform your life?

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The amputation of a leg is one of those processes that, if not well managed, can become not only a physical but an emotional challenge. In a 2007 study published in The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, it is estimated that at least 30% of the amputee population suffers from some type of depression after such a loss.

Many of the immediate reactions after amputation alternate between depression and anxiety, this will also depend on whether the event occurred unexpectedly or if there was a deepening phase of the process.

Faced with changes, measures must be taken, that means learning new processes and seeking a renewed quality of life. If you are going through a lower limb amputation or one of your family or friends has been amputated, we invite you to discover a solution to this new challenge: leg prostheses. What is it? what does it offer? And, above all: how does it helps you renew your life?


What are leg prostheses?

They can basically be defined as the device that replaces the amputated leg and that from now on becomes a support and an allied device for you to recover the normality of your life. Despite the fact that a cycle of the relationship with your body is closed, whether due to injury, illness or accident, its mobility does not have to be completely affected.

After the amputation, the important thing for the new beginning is to know that, although it is an external body, this new limb is added to the patient’s body and becomes a substantial part of his organism. Thanks to the advancement of the science of prosthetics, it can be said that the way to articulate with the remaining part of the leg feels as natural as if the amputation had not occurred.


Main types of prostheses

Not all prostheses are the same, here we summarize which are the main ones that can be found and how they adapt to the needs of the patient:

  • Full leg: As its name says, it replaces the entire member and it covers from the hip to the foot.
  • Hemipelvectomy: Works for those who have an amputation in a space that includes the pelvis and the leg.
  • Transfemoral: Designed for people who have had an above-knee amputation.
  • Transfibial: This is used to make substitutions below the knee and up to the foot.
  • Syme: It is used when the amputation has occurred in the ankle or foot.

Además de las ya mencionadas, existen otros modelos y adaptaciones que se encargan de construir una experiencia más placentera para la persona que enfrenta este nuevo reto. Estas prótesis pueden ser más complejas y con más funciones dedicadas a mejorar desempeños específicos.

Elements of the prosthesis and its care

The components of the prosthesis can be classified as follows:

  • Socket: It is fundamental since it works as the bridge that connects the stump with the prosthesis. Its shape must be correctly fitted and it must be checked that it does not cause skin injuries or allergies. The socket can be made of propylene, carbon fiber, or fiberglass, among other materials.
  • Liner: Although there are cases that do not warrant its use, depending on the prosthesis, the liner will go before the socket and will serve as direct contact with the person’s skin.
  • Knee: Element that replaces the removed member. There are different styles and with various functions, we can find from the basic to others that can have sophisticated functions since they are made especially for high-performance athletes.
  • Foot: It is essential because it directly affects how the person is going to move, so it must be adapted to their needs and rhythm.

How to take care of it?

After installing the prosthesis, as it becomes part of you, it is important to know how to care for and clean it for its full functioning, this includes:

  • Cleaning the socket with soap and water, on a regular basis, avoiding that the other components get wet.
  • Never leave the prosthesis at extreme temperatures or with excessive humidity.
  • Dry the prosthesis after each cleaning.
  • Check frequently if there is any wear or the prosthesis begins to squeak in any of its parts.
  • Do not try to “fix” the prosthesis if you have not consulted with experts.

The benefits of dentures

Accepting the challenge and the changes that occur in life, the prosthesis becomes an element of the person’s rebirth. There are several benefits that can be counted, among them and as a main element, is the recovery of mobility. Along with this you can see an improvement in stability, in addition to correcting the posture.

Secondly, it allows a reintegration into daily life, this generates self-esteem, greater security and is the basis for greater self-love, helping to face the challenges and difficulties that arise.

Third, along with mental health, the prosthesis results in greater physical health. Upon regaining mobility, the person can create a new exercise routine, work on their muscles and improve their cardiovascular function.

That is why, in the face of difficulties and changes, a prosthesis can transform life in a positive way. The prostheses, below the knee or above the knee, that we offer at ALCAM will give you all these benefits that we have named and many more, since we have all the necessary prosthetics and orthotics are with the highest quality. For more information, we invite you to visit our website: www.alcammedical.com or @alcammedicalop on Instagram.