Like when anyone takes a trip, it will need meticulous preparation, and even then it is possible not everything will go to plan. As someone with permanent prosthesis, you will still need to do meticulous planning for your trip, but yours will include challenges faced by those with artificial limbs. Though you may need to prepare for things others do not, permanent prosthesis makes it possible for many amputees to travel regularly and comfortably. Please note, if you are a diabetic, the medical advice for your prosthetic will differ and you should see your doctor before committing to any trip.
Before Taking a Trip with Permanent Prosthesis
Depending on what means of travelling you are preparing for, you will need to pack all the things you usually need to ensure your prosthetic is tightened, clean and ready for the day. Make a separate list of everything you will need to ensure you have everything you need for your prosthetic. Many amputees who have permanent prosthesis have a medical bag that is always packed and ready with anything and everything they may need in relation to their artificial limb.
You should always make an appointment to see your prosthetist before departing for any period of time. Be sure to tighten any loose screws, check the socket and ensure a perfect fit. Tell your prosthetist about the means of travelling you will be taking, as a change in pressure could be felt during a flight but shouldn’t be cause for concern. Those with below knee prosthesis are advised simply to remove their prosthetic when exposed to cabin pressure.
When Travelling by Car with Below Knee Prosthesis
If you intend to travel by car as an amputee with permanent prosthesis to a destination that will take multiple hours to reach, there are some things you must keep in mind. Be sure to make regular stops to stretch your legs, especially as a patient with a below knee prosthesis. This is true of all passengers on car trips, however abled, should make regular stops to encourage circulation.
When Flying with Artificial Limbs
The rules will vary on the country you are in and the country you are travelling to. Customs may ask you to remove your prosthetic. You are well within your rights to request a private search if you prefer and you may not be denied this, however, you may not refuse a search. Be prepared to wait, perhaps a bit longer than other travellers. To compensate for this be at the airport an hour earlier than you need to be and then you will be on schedule, no matter what happens.
Once on board, be sure the pressure remains comfortable. If it is a long flight you may take the time to clean your socket so that it is ready and clean for when you land.
Have your trusted prosthetist on speed-dial, just in case. Other than that, enjoy your trip!