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Techniques for Walking After the Installation of a Prosthetic Limb
We list the essential things for those adjusting to a new prosthesis:
1) The patient should stand straight and the waist and knee should be straight. The patient should not feel that he is leaning forward or backward.
2) The starting point of the force applied to the load-bearing frame must be evenly distributed. This means that after inserting the prosthesis, the knee area on the mouth of the prosthesis, including the lower part of the prosthesis, should not have obvious pain in any area, even if it is rubbed red, even if there is a small amount of pain, it should be evenly distributed.
3) Testing the ankle side: Shake back and forth several times while standing with the prosthesis stable like a pole. If it has free movement forward, this is essential for going up and down stairs and going up and down hills.
4) Walking depends mainly on the knee. However, if the residual limb is long, it swings along with the prosthesis. This makes the step more stable and natural.
5) Pay attention to the level of the heel. When changing shoes, the patient should try to maintain the initial height of the prosthetic device. If you have not mastered the self-adjustment techniques of the artificial limb, do not easily change the heel level.
Visual methods: After putting on the shoes, the patient stands at a 90-degree angle. The prosthesis should be stretched slightly forward, i.e. the degree between the leg and the forefoot should be approximately 80 degrees. This is more suitable for starting walking.
Heel adjustment method: if the heel is low, the body always feels like it is moving backwards. Walking and standing for a long time stretches the knee too much, and it feels painful when walking a long distance. At this point, you should thicken the heel with thick moleskin (cut it into semicircles about half the size of the heel. You can use AB glue to make sure it stays firmly and effectively). If the heel is high, the body’s center of gravity always shifts forward involuntarily. The knee clearly cannot stand straight. At this time, the patient should change shoes to those with a lower heel.
In addition, the first suggestion is to choose a slightly bigger shoe that is easy to put on and take off. The second is that you should pay more attention to choosing a shoe with a solid and wear-resistant sole. The most sensitive part of the prosthesis to wear is the bottom of the shoe, while the sole of the shoe is very durable.
All new prostheses are like buying new shoes. They are very hard at first, not particularly soft and require breaking in. When you change to a new prosthesis, you clearly feel that the old one is better and easy to remove and put on. So remember:
Don’t wear your new denture while traveling (except for new dentures, of course). This is because the residual limb changes slightly over several years (artificial limbs have a life cycle). There is a certain difference between the old and the new prosthesis. That’s why you can’t adapt to a new prosthesis right away. When you leave the house, when you feel discomfort (like a painful chafing), it cannot be avoided. You have to live with this pain until your residual limb gets used to the new prosthesis.
After the installation of the initial prosthesis, the residual limb atrophies quite quickly (especially if it is a recent amputation). Therefore, the patient should change the first prosthesis within a year or two. It reduces the patient’s financial burden if he can only consider changing the upper part of the prosthesis socket when installing another prosthesis. This helps preserve as many parts as possible other than the denture base. This saves a lot of money.
After three years, the residual limb becomes essentially fixed and unchanging. The progression of atrophy also becomes relatively slow, while the stump changes little.
Adults with moderate daily activity (excluding growing children and young people and strong workers) can wear the prosthesis for 3-5 years without problems.
Usually, after the initial adjustment phase, the patient is already used to the prosthesis. There should be no pain or discomfort during a long walk. Therefore, it is possible to naturally maintain a proper gait. In other words, the best situation is if the body vibrates as little as possible when the patient walks.
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#Techniques #Walking #Installation #Prosthetic #Limb