Losing a leg is not easy for anyone so it is understandable that you are anxious about walking again. First, it is important to set expectations. Learning to walk with leg prosthesis takes time, effort and practice. This activity demands mental fortitude and perseverance especially if you don’t want to develop poor or obvious walking habits.
With that said, it is possible to lead a normal life after an amputation. Speak to your orthopedist about the best prosthesis for your type of amputation. Meanwhile, below are a few great tips to help you learn and master walking with prosthetics.
Get a Good Fit
A good fit is the first line of defense when learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg. The leg should fit snugly, securely and comfortable so you can set a firm foundation for learning to walk. Work with a trusted, experienced and innovative prosthetics supplier. The orthopedist doctor should take all the necessary measurements and personal considerations to guarantee the perfect fit.
On your part, it is necessary to keep your residual limb clean and dry.
Learn to Bear Weight
Once the fitting is done, you can now attempt to walk in your artificial leg. The science here is all about learning to bear weight correctly. The difficult part in this process is learning to trust yourself. You may be hesitant about putting all your weight on the prosthesis but if the orthopedist has done his job, you shouldn’t worry too much about breaking it.
Start with a walking aid such as a parallel bar. Put most of your weight on your arms as you get the first taste of walking in prosthetics. Move on to using one arm for support on the bars and putting a little more weight on the artificial leg each time.
Above the knee amputees typically have a harder time learning to walk in prosthetics but it’s not impossible. The artificial knee joint is a bit of a learning curve. Again, it is all about putting a little more weight on the prosthetic as you gain more confidence. It doesn’t take any kind of genius to learn to walk again. It’s all about practice.
Use Walking Aids as Recommended
Once you graduate from the parallel bars to walking aids, it is easy to think that you have it and throw away the aids. Trying to walk too quickly can quickly lead to injury. Continue to use your walking aid until otherwise indicated by your doctor or orthopedist.
Learning to navigate curbs, stairs and uneven surfaces takes a little getting used to. Again, the walking aids help you to remain stable and build confidence.
Learning to walk in leg prosthesis is as difficult as you make it for yourself. The most important aspects are trust in your doctors and your ability and mental fortitude. Much of learning to walk again is psychological so the good news is you can get back to regular life with dedicated practice and a little patience.
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