But, aren’t all prostheses custom-made?

There is no such thing as universally compatible prostheses; but the extent of the customisation depends on the needs of the amputee. All amputees must have their prosthesis fitted to best accommodate the nature of the residual limb. The replacement limb will contain a socket in which the residual limb must fit perfectly.

The different types of lower body prostheses

Two types of leg prostheses exist. The first is known as ‘below the knee’ (transtibial) and the other as ‘above the knee’ (transfemoral). This will be the first indication of how an amputee’s prosthesis must be designed.

Various factors are considered, such as the age of the amputee, the lifestyle she or he leads and personal motivation for getting an artificial limb.

An amputee can also have more than one artificial limb to function for various purposes.If an amputee jogs or runs, they would rather consider a Cheetah Flex-Foot than a cosmetic artificial limb.

Getting a prosthesis is not a once-off buy; the amputee will most likely need a new prosthesis as the residual limb gets smaller or changes.In early stages after the amputation, prostheses must continuously be fitted in accordance with the nature and shape of the residual limb. Some amputees have remaining bone while others have undergone above the knee amputation, affecting the socket and artificial joints of the prosthesis.

But how will I know what kind will suit me best?

It all depends on what you want to do with your replacement. Would you like to run or walk? Do you want a prosthesis for aesthetic purposes or do you plan on using it? Talk to your prosthetist, they are specialists in the field and have worked with many amputees, all with individual needs.

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