The latest statistics show nearly 58 million people worldwide living with limb amputation from a traumatic injury. Are you living with a below-knee amputation? There’s a way to get back to your active lifestyle!
Prosthetic legs below the knee are an option for those missing a lower limb. If you’re struggling to return to function, consider a lower limb prosthesis.
Read up on everything you need to know about artificial limbs here.
Are You a Candidate for a Prosthetic Limb?
Not everyone can use a prosthetic limb. The residual limb must be in a healthy state with enough soft tissue to cushion the bone. The skin must also be in good condition.
Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Did you lose your limb to diabetes? You may not be a good candidate for a prosthetic leg.
If you’re an athlete who lost your limb in an accident, you’re likely a good candidate for an artificial limb. Every person’s situation is different.
Discuss your mobility goals with your doctor. She’ll look at your goals, your existing health, and the health of your residual limb and help you make an informed decision.
The Components of Prosthetic Legs Below the Knee
There are several components that make up a lower limb prosthetic. These include:
- Prosthetic socket
A prosthetist is a person who works with you to ensure a comfortable fitting artificial limb. Remarkably, some artificial limbs are now made with 3d scanners.
The prosthetic socket is the component that attaches to your residual limb. A prosthetist creates the socket by taking a cast of your residual limb. The socket sits between the residual limb and the prosthetic limb.
The socket is custom-made to ensure the most comfortable fit for your artificial limb. In the case of a full-leg amputation, a prosthetic knee joint is also used.
Another component is the pylon. The pylon is the connection for the prosthetic foot. For prosthetic legs below the knee, the pylon connects between the socket and the foot.
There are different types of artificial feet depending on your K rating. Providers base a K rating on your level of mobility, and the ratings go from 0 to 4. A K rating of 0 means a prosthesis won’t enhance your quality of life.
If you’re an athlete or active adult, your K rating is likely a level 4. You’re able to ambulate beyond basic skills. In that case, you’ll need a durable foot that can hold up to high impact and stress.
The Role of Rehabilitation in Artificial Limbs
Rehabilitation is important once you opt for an artificial limb. You’ll need to build your cardiovascular and muscle strength while learning how to walk again. The residual limb changes shape during that first year of wearing a prosthetic leg and may require extra fittings.
Enjoy Better Mobility With a Prosthetic Leg
Prosthetic legs below the knee are a great way to get back on your feet after an amputation. If you’re a candidate, you can regain much of the mobility you lost.
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