Prosthetic & Orthotic Repairs
Regular maintenance of the prosthesis ensures the device is functioning well. Current prosthetic wearers require the following repair and maintenance services when caring for their prostheses:
- Socket replacement
- Repairs on parts of the prosthesis
- Replacement of prosthetic components
Often, common signs that the prosthetic device needs to be repaired include changes to the remaining limb, physiological changes and changes concerning your functional needs.
However, there are concerning changes to the material of the prosthetic that you should be aware of. For example, the leather used to make the prosthesis should be kept dry and clean, using saddle soap to ensure no dirt sticks to the surface. Once a purulent smell emanates from the leather or the leather becomes stained, you need to take it to the prosthetist to have it repaired.
Further repairs are done on the following prosthetic parts:
Cleaning and maintenance of the socket
It helps to wash the socket using soap and water daily. Then, rinse again using a wet warm water cloth, dry the prosthesis and allow it to air overnight. Finally, you can remove the valve at night and allow air to circulate.
The protective coating of the socket can wear away. As a result, the wood will be exposed, and moisture will be absorbed. You need to take the prosthetic to the prosthetist when you notice signs of wear and tear, such as rough or dark areas on the surface of the covering.
The powder used to fit the prosthesis should not be allowed to build up in the valve. A small brush can remove particles such as dirt, dust, powder and lint. Screw the valve's spring to keep it in place. Be sure to replace the rubber gasket, an elastic component separating a surface or multiple joints. A leaking valve is considered a warning sign that the device needs to be taken in for repairs. Using your own tools to loosen or tighten the valve is not suggested. Always get a professional's opinion.
A cosmetic covering is used over the shins and must be protected. Damage to the covering with a sharp object requires immediate repair. It is important to clean makeup from the prosthetic regularly with plain soap and water to prevent the build-up of bacteria. Allow the shin to dry before reapplying makeup and covering the prosthetic again.
Adjustment of the knee friction mechanism
The knee friction mechanism must be adjusted when the shin swings too quickly or too slowly. We can adapt friction in the standard knee by placing a screwdriver or Allen wrench into the holes on the knee prosthetic. Then, by turning the wrench clockwise, we can increase the friction. If the knee hyperextends, in other words, moves backwards extensively, and a sound emits from the prosthetic, then it needs to be replaced.
Ankle and foot
If the foot covering is torn, it must be replaced as soon as possible. The ankle and foot prosthetics have to be kept dry at all times. You can ensure this by preventing water from getting into the shoe and soaking the foot and toes. You need to take the prosthesis to the prosthetist when you notice sand or dirt getting into the ankle. The rubber bumpers in the ankle need to be monitored often. Once the bumpers lose their flexibility, they need to be replaced with the help of a prosthetist. All shoes should have heels to ensure the amputee is comfortable with the equilibrium and balance of the feet. Your prosthetist will ensure your shoes are always in good form to prevent an uncomfortable gait.
What can I do to avoid costly breakdowns?
By taking your prosthesis in for regular check-ups to confirm general wear and tear or the breakdown of parts, you can avoid costly repairs in the future. It is also advised not to make repairs on the device using files, saws, knives or sandpaper. Instead, ensure you take the prosthetic to a qualified prosthetist to make the necessary repairs.
The shell, which is the base of the orthosis, can crack over time. Fortunately, we can repair the crack as long as the piece has not separated into two parts. Instead, a fine composite is used to patch up the area; afterwards, the region is cured.
We provide several base repair services. So, repairing cracks, replacing heel stabilisers and redeveloping orthotics are popular repair services. Apart from base repairs, we provide the following orthotic repair services:
- Heel stabilisation involves placing stabilisers beneath the orthotic’s heel to strengthen the foot.
- Shell duplication can occur when sending your worn orthotics for repairs. In this case, an additional set is made. Once we remove the top, we can create additional models and custom support shells.
Every two to four years, depending on the condition and care of the prosthesis.