In the United States, up to 185,000 people receive an amputation procedure every year. Many of those who receive an amputation procedure may eventually decide to get prosthetic limbs for enhancing mobility.
Custom prosthetics above the knee allow for those experiencing limb loss to have greater freedom of movement. However, while it can be difficult to learn to walk with a prosthesis, it can also feel challenging to adapt to putting the prosthetic leg on and taking it off.
Taking off an above the knee prosthetic leg
To remove your above the knee custom prosthetic, begin by sitting down and relaxing your leg. Press the depress release button on the top most part of your prosthesis. Gently and slowly move the prosthesis just a little from the remaining part of your leg and release the button. Then proceed to slowly pull the prosthetic socket from your leg.
Should you experience any problems removing the prosthetic socket, attempt to push your leg into the socket more as you press the depress release button. This will help to release the pressure on your leg and allow you to remove it from the prosthetic.
After removing your leg from the prosthesis, check the prosthesis and the depress release button to ensure it’s clean of debris. Remove the silicone liner carefully from your leg.
Putting on an above the knee prosthetic leg
Before putting on your above the knee custom prosthetics, it’s important to ensure that your silicone liner covering the remaining part of your leg is clear of dirt and is completely dry.
Debris and moisture in the liner can cause skin irritation. Additionally, when you pull on the liner, carefully run your hands along the liner to ensure all air is released from the silicone. Air bubbles trapped in the liner while you’re wearing your prosthetic leg will cause blisters, which can be painful.
Should your leg decrease in size as it heals, you may need to wear prosthetic socks with your liner. However, make sure that the cut end of the sock remains tucked between the rubber membrane at the end of the liner and the liner itself. When the rubber membrane is rolled up onto the cut end of the sock, there should be no wrinkles present.
Spray alcohol along the rubber membrane to help ease your leg into the socket of the prosthetic leg. Once the prosthetic leg is on, carefully stand and ensure the leg is on straight.
Shift your weight onto the prosthetic leg up to 10 times to expel the air out of the valve for proper suction. You may need to hold a button during this process if you have a push button valve on your prosthesis. Close the valve once the prosthesis is completely on your leg and proper suction is present.
If you have trouble getting in and out of your custom prosthetics, it’s important to talk to your prosthetist. Your prosthetist is there to help you improve your mobility and to ensure you’re comfortable in your prosthetic leg.