Learning to Use a Prosthetic Leg
Millions of Americans depend on artificial limbs to positively impact their quality of life after an amputation surgery. The process of getting from surgery to getting adapted to life with your new limb takes a while. Here’s what you can expect while learning to live with your prosthetic leg.
Learning to use your prosthetic leg
The first couple of months after your surgery will be spent healing in a wheelchair. During this time you won’t want to put any weight or force on the residual limb allowing ample time for swelling to decrease and for healing to take place. Healing properly and being patient during this time reduces the possibility of a fall and further injury and could translate to success in transitioning to life with your prosthetic leg.
Physical therapy is the start
Physical therapy is the start of your process to learn how to move around on your prosthetic. Specific exercises will be used to build the strength in your residual limb. You’ll use a training prosthetic to begin bearing weight on the limb and complete basic movements with it.
Fitting for your prosthetic leg
Once you’ve built up strength in your limb, you’ll start the fitting process for your prosthetic. Measurements will be taken of your residual limb. Once your custom prosthetic is created, you’ll start learning how to walk with it in physical therapy. The providers will teach you how to walk and maneuver the prosthetic to mimic a natural motion.
Physical therapy will continue for several months as the limb becomes part of your everyday life. As time goes on and you practice more, you’ll find that it becomes a natural extension of your body moving similarly to before. Prosthetic companies make a whole host of specialized prosthetics too like those made for running and even swimming ensuring that your life ahead is vibrant and full of satisfying experiences.