What is a leg prosthesis?
A leg prosthesis looks like a natural limb and provides aid with mobility, particularly in amputees and patients with disabilities. For example, a leg prosthesis imitates the movement, appearance and function of a normal functioning limb.
When we fit a leg prosthesis, we consider the following:
- The vitality of the remaining limb
- The level of pain you are in
- The residual limb’s range of motion
- Were you active before the loss of your limb?
A below-the-knee prosthetic is easier to fit than a piece above the knee. A partial functioning knee joint makes it easier to move with a prosthetic because it enhances the flexibility of the healthy limb. Prosthetic devices are made of fibreglass or carbon fibre, so the devices can bend and move as your normal leg would. The material used helps the devices spring up when lifting the foot.
A foot and ankle mechanism is built in the following prosthetic devices:
- A basic model with a permanent foot and ankle position. The piece has a single pivot point that enables the up and down movement of the foot.
- A complex-made model promotes mobility even on uneven ground.
- A high-level training model allows you to participate in high-intensity sports such as running and jumping.
A knee mechanism can also be built in, depending on the requirements. Leg prostheses that incorporate knee mechanisms include:
- A prosthetic with a locking mechanism can be locked and unlocked when sitting or walking.
- A leg prosthesis with a weight-activated mechanism locks and unlocks when weight is added or removed from the limb.
- A prosthesis with a built-in hydraulic system controls movement to enhance your gait.
A prosthetic leg must be cared for and fitted properly to achieve optimal mobility and recovery. Therefore, it is important to clean your prosthetic leg on a regular basis to prevent the build-up of sweat and bacteria. If you are unsure how to do this, we provide professional cleaning services to ensure your prosthetic device is adequately maintained.
Contact our practice today if you are interested in learning more about the prosthetic leg process, including the different types of prosthetics and the materials used.
The cost of the leg prosthesis depends on your level of amputation, health condition and needs. Your medical insurance will base their coverage on your specific needs, whether you need the prosthesis to cover expansive distances or confined areas in your house. However, a computerised prosthesis is much more costly than the average prosthetic leg.
Willow, linden and other wood can be used to make prostheses, particularly prostheses for knees and shins. We use inexpensive indigenous materials like water-based clay for a below-the-knee prosthetic instead of Plaster of Paris Powder, which is imported material used for most prostheses.
A metal implant is placed in the bone directly. This eliminates the need to create a new socket. Then, the prosthetic leg connects to the implant. However, this method is not for everyone. Usually, the traditional way of attaching a prosthesis is through a socket that presses down on the stump and provides a means of connecting the prosthetic leg.