Many people don’t think about what amputation and needing to be fit with a permanent prosthesis must be like. This is likely due to the fact that you are not in the market for artificial limbs if you have your own. If a time should arise where losing a limb becomes a part of your reality there are prosthetic professionals available to provide you with information and advice, and to fit you with a permanent prosthesis.
This article will discuss some things that people are usually unaware of when it comes to artificial limbs and the processes involved in fitting a patient with permanent prosthesis.
People Are Going to Stare
This is a natural response and people are probably not intentionally being rude. They are most likely staring because they are curious rather than their glances coming from a place of judgement. Many people have never seen artificial limbs before and may be interested to see how they are used. Try to keep this in mind when you find someone keeps looking at your permanent prosthesis.
If people take their curiosity a step further and approach you about it you are not obliged to share personal information with strangers. However, if you educate them at this point they will likely approach amputees with more tact in the future.
Amputation Can Be as a Result of Multiple Things
Many people associate amputations with veterans or immediate trauma. This is often the cause of amputations and the need for permanent prosthesis but there are more common conditions that may often lead to amputation. These include:
- Injury/tissue damage – trauma, burns, motor accidents
- Serious cases of infection
- Cancerous tumors in the bone or muscle
- Neuroma (the thickening of nerve tissue)
- Poor circulation in the extremities (narrowing of arteries from damage or infection. Most commonly associated with diabetes and below-knee prosthesis.)
Phantom Pain is Real and No Joke
Phantom pain is when an amputee feels sensation, often pain, in a limb that is no longer part of their body. These symptoms are psychosomatic where the relation between body and mind are so strong you feel things that “can’t be happening”.
The phantom pain felt by amputees is a very real sensation so being insensitive about the subject, by refusing to believe such a phenomenon could exist, will only make the patient uncomfortable and the person commenting look discourteous.
Patients and their Prosthetist Should Be Very Close
The relationship between amputee patients and their prosthetist should, and is likely to be, a very close one. When approaching professional prosthetists for artificial limbs and being fit with permanent prosthesis you will be spending a lot of time together.
Be sure you trust your prosthetist and open up to them. The more information you share as a patient the better the prosthetist will be able to fit you with a permanent prosthesis that fits your needs. If you would like a better idea of what you should share with your prosthetist read more here.
To find a prosthetist you can trust to give you sound advice and fit you with a permanent prosthesis that suits your lifestyle consult with Meintjes & Neethling.