HOW DOES A PROSTHESIS WORK?
Wearing a prosthesis is not mandatory. Hence, patients will always have the option to say ‘no’.
However, most doctors would highly recommend them to allow patients to get back to their normal activities after amputation. Prostheses can be integrated into the body as early as two weeks after an amputation. During rehabilitation, the patient will be taught how to regain mobility with the new artificial body part and how to care for the prostheses.
A Prosthetist designs, measures, and fits the prostheses. He works closely with the doctor and the patient to determine the best type of prosthesis based on their individual unique circumstances. He measures the length of the stump then compares it to the dimensions of the remaining healthy limb using images from X-rays, CAT, and MRI scans.
Once the measurements have been taken, the prosthetist will create a mould of the prostheses using plaster. It will consist of different parts. There is the prosthetic limb itself, the socket (the connection or ‘interface’ between the prosthetic limb and the patient’s body), the attachment mechanism, and the control system.
During the fitting, the prostheses are connected to the stump and then arranged and aligned until they fit perfectly. In some cases, several adjustments need to be made in order to achieve the best comfort and the effectiveness level of the prosthesis.