How It’s Made: Prosthetic Legs
Orthotics and prosthetics are a lifesaver to many dealing with the after-effects of an amputation. These medical devices are not one size fits all, and a lot goes into their custom creation. For example, have you ever wondered how an artificial leg is made by highly skilled professionals? Read on to find out!
Measurements and Casting
If a prosthetic leg is in your future, the first step is to get a prescription from your doctor so that you can have one made for you. A prosthetist will take measurements that will guide the creation of your device. They will make a cast of your residual limb that will help them in creating both the socket and the attachments for the socket that you will use.
The team will then make a diagnostic socket with the measurements taken and test it on you to see if it’s a good fit. If everything fits accordingly, a definitive socket will be created using the same measurements. If the fit is off, more measurements will be taken and adjustments will be made before the definitive socket is made.
Creating a Prosthetic
Artificial legs can be made with several different goals in mind. A prosthetic can be created that closely matches skin tone for a more subtle appearance. You can also opt for more advanced functions which might allow you to move, walk, and even run in a natural way.
Some artificial legs even contain mechanical parts that help with more fluid movements and responses. These mechanical parts can learn the idiosyncrasies of your gait and walking style over time and will cause the knee to move exactly as needed and the conditions warrant.
The prosthetist will use the measurements, socket, and mold to form your artificial limb. There will be several fittings over time as the prosthetic is fine-tuned. Walking on the prosthetic will be an adjustment, and will take time and practice.
Physical Therapy with Prosthetic
Once your prosthetic is completely formed, your prosthetist will help you learn how to use it. You will likely visit them over the next few years as you learn to live with your prosthetic. They will help you learn to move more naturally through physical therapy exercises designed especially for this transition. Learn more about how a custom prosthetic can change your life today.