Building the perfect prosthetic takes hard work. Proper limb care and skin care is essential to your health and mobility. To avoid swelling, discomfort, abrasions, trapped sweat, bacterial and fungal infections, here are some tips on how to take care of your extremity and skin. These tips are helpful in preventing or avoiding any further damage.
How to take care of your artificial limb:
• Your limb tends to swell in hot water as it dangles when you when you sit or stand in the shower. This will make it difficult to put on your prosthetic. That is why taking a shower at night will help to avoid swelling by raising the limb.
• If you have a prosthetic which is placed below the knee. It is vital never to sleep or sit with a pillow under the knee. This will lead to an inability to straighten the knee.
• For an artificial limb which is placed above the knee, it is important not to sleep with it on. When the limb is resting on a pillow, this promotes hip flexion or inability to straighten the hip. The best way is to place a pillow between your legs. This will help to lengthen the inner thigh muscle and shorten the outer thigh muscle so when you walk you can stand with your feet apart.
• Do not rest your limb over the handle piece of your crutches.
• It’s important to stay active by doing stretching exercises. This can help to straighten your knee and hip. It’ll make it easier for you to walk and lay in bed and will increase overall comfort.
Skin Care Tips for Prosthetics Patients:
• To avoid fungal growth, it is important to wash your prosthetic with soap and water.
• Only use softening creams if the skin is extremely dry and at risk for cracking.
• Do not use alcohol or unknown chemicals on the limb.
• Check your limb for red pressure patches that last more than a few minutes after you remove your extremity; these may be a sign that the socket needs checking. If left untended, these red patches may result in skin breakdown.
There are many people and resources readily available to help with your prosthetic limb and adjusting it for optimal comfort. These specialists can answer any questions as well as give you tips on how to make things more comfortable for your individual situation. If you have a prosthetic limb, don’t live in discomfort get a specialists advice on how you can achieve the optimal fit.