What is prosthesis and orthotics, and what is the purpose?
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A prosthesis is an artificial replacement for any or all parts of the lower or upper extremities. It is a device that is designed to replace, as much as possible, the function or appearance of a missing limb or body part.
Purpose • A prosthesis is used to provide an individual who has an amputated limb with the opportunity to perform functional tasks, particularly ambulation (walking) which may not be possible without the limb. The type of prosthesis is determined by the extent of amputation.
• Measuring the stump and the healthy opposite limb
• Fitting silicone liner
• Making a plaster mold
• Fashioning the socket
• Forming the plastic parts and then creating the metal parts of the limb
• Attaching the shaft
• Aligning the prosthesis
Depending on your comfort and how well your wound is healing, you may begin to practice with your artificial limb as early as a few weeks after surgery. A physical or occupational therapist will train you on how to use and care for it.
Prostheses Parts and Types
There is a wide variety of prostheses that are designed to function — and in many cases look — like a natural arm, leg, hand, or foot. Although there are many different designs, most have similar parts. These include:
• A socket into which the stump of the amputated limb fits
• The suspension, which holds the prosthesis onto the stump
• The shaft
• The foot, hand, or hook
• A covering for cosmetic appearances
The socket is often lined with foam or silicone to protect the stump. Special socks are also worn over the stump to ensure a proper fit and improve comfort.
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