Volume 21, Issue 1 January/February 2011 –
by John Peter Seaman, CP, CTP –
Even for the most experienced wearers of lower-limb prostheses, using a prosthesis can result in daily inconveniences, if not worse. So what can recent amputees do to enhance their experience after being fitted with a prosthesis? First, accept that successful prosthesis use involves a 50/50 effort between the amputee and his or her prosthetist. Second, amputees need to understand that their prosthetist, in most cases, is not a miracle worker. In simplest terms, the prosthetist’s role is to assess the amputee’s physical potential, select appropriate prosthetic componentry, and provide a tool, in the form of a prosthesis, for the amputee to use to achieve his or her desired ADLs (activities of daily living). Once this is accomplished, it is up to the amputee to do the many things necessary to maximize the benefits offered by a comfortably fitting and properly functioning prosthesis.