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Prosthetic Wearing Instructions
Care of the Residual Limb:
You will be provided with a wearing schedule for your prosthesis. Be sure to examine your residual limb, daily, for areas of redness, irritation, or swelling. If these conditions persist, contact your prosthetist immediately. Your prosthesis should not cause redness that lasts for more than ten minutes.
Cleanse the residual limb, daily, with a mild soap and water. Thoroughly rinse and dry. Do not soak, as this can make the skin tender. The preferred time to cleanse your residual limb is in the evening. If cleansed in the morning, be sure to dry, completely, before putting on your prosthesis. Generally, lotions or creams are acceptable for use at night, but are not recommended for use in the morning prior to putting on your prosthesis. Never use lotion with silicone (gel) liners. A&D ointment may be used, if needed. Always check with your prosthetist on applying any product(s). Finally, do not shave your residual limb as this can often cause irritation of the hair follicles.
When you are not wearing your prosthesis, you should be wearing your shrinker as instructed. This will help reduce limb volume fluctuations that can cause fitting problems. The shrinker should be pulled on so that there is no gapping at the end, no wrinkling, and no bunching at the top which could restrict blood flow. Also, keep the shrinker pulled above your knee. You will have to keep adjusting your shrinker throughout the day as it will tend to shift, and slip, eventually working its way off your residual limb.
Launder your shrinker using a mild soap and hang to dry. You should have two shrinkers so one if available while laundering the other. If your shrinker is not worn properly, problems can occur and cause problems in fitting your prosthesis. Make sure you contact your prosthetist if you have questions regarding how to wear your shrinker.
It is extremely important that you learn to wear the appropriate sock ply(s). You will be instructed by your prosthetist as to how to make this determination. Wearing the wrong ply(s) of socks can lead to skin irritation and/or possible skin breakdown. Socks should be changed on a daily basis and laundered following directions on the package (different suppliers may have different care requirements). Your socks should fit snugly and be wrinkle-free. Any seams in the sock should be placed over soft tissue rather than bony areas.
If you wear a silicone (gel) liner, it is very important that you follow the wearing schedule given to you. Initially, your residual limb will need to be conditioned to wearing a silicone liner. The care of the liners vary depending on the manufacturer. Customarily, the silicone liner should be cleansed daily with a mild soap and water and rinsed completely. Soap residue can cause skin irritation. If a rash appears, you may not be washing or rinsing the liner thoroughly Your residual limb may tend to perspire more with a silicone liner. This is normal and, usually, will lessen over time. Regularly inspect attachment points for signs of wear and tear and contact your prosthetist if the attachment looks worn. While wearing a silicone liner, wear it fully above the knee and make certain there is no gapping between the end of the liner and your residual limb.
Care of the Prosthesis:
A prosthesis is a mechanical device and, as such, requires regular maintenance and care. If you notice anything unusual (visual, audible, mechanical, or functional) it should be immediately inspected by the prosthetist. Your prosthesis should be inspected every six months by the prosthetist to ensure proper fit and function. Do not attempt to adjust screws or other parts of the prosthesis yourself. It is important that you follow up with your prosthetist, even if you are not experiencing problems.
You may clean the inside of the socket with a damp cloth. If there is a mechanical lock inside the prosthesis, make sure that water does not get down inside the prosthesis. The outside of the socket can be cleaned in a similar fashion. Cosmetic stockings can be cleaned in the same manner as your stump socks. If there is cosmetic skin covering the prosthesis, it may be cleaned with a mild soap and water.
Purchasing Necessary Supplies and Products:
Most patients need to keep a few items on hand, such as: Socks, Liners, Shrinkers, Ampu Talc, or Sheaths. You can make an appointment with a practitioner if you are unsure of what you need, or, you can call and place an order by phone.
If you have any questions, problems, or concerns, do not hesitate to call. Patient care is what we do best. We appreciate your patronage.