Uhh, Captain, we have a problem... Troubleshooting Above Knee prosthetics.
Your prosthesis has been custom fitted to your unique limb shape and size, it should be both comfortable and functional. However, your socket represents your limb shape and size at a specific moment in time. Humans are dynamic beings, our bodies are made of mostly fluids, and we change over time. Your prosthetist may have to make adjustments to your prosthesis as you experience these life changes.
Please DO NOT try to fix your own prosthesis. It is dangerous and a liability for your hardworking prosthetist. Your prosthetist is your partner, we need to work together to create the best prosthetic possible for you and deliver a higher quality of life.
When should I schedule an appointment to see my prosthetist?
- This list is not complete, if you are unsure about something, please call your prosthetist.
- If you experience pain in your limb caused by your prosthesis. Please try to remember where and when you experience this pain as it can be helpful in diagnosing the issue; a journal is a good idea.
- If prosthesis is uncomfortable and it persists after trying to adjust with sock plys.
- If you experience skin redness or irritation, that does not go away within 15 minutes.
- If blisters, welts or any other skin conditions develop. Discontinue use of prosthesis and call your prosthetist.
- If you start to hear a clicking noise anywhere in the prosthesis as you walk.
- If you see any cracks develop in the socket.
Here are some common issues to be aware of :
- If you begin to experience discomfort, check to seeing if you are putting on your prosthesis properly. Are you putting it on the same way every time? Does the foot look like it is in the right position? If there is a pin, is it aligning correctly with the pin-lock?
- Have you experienced a volume change? Feel free to play around with the sock ply to make yourself feel comfortable. That means you may need to add or subtract a sock ply or two. Sometimes this is the solution.
- Have you recently changed your shoes? Changes in heel height can affect the way your knee and foot react as you walk, which can lead to gait problems that can cause you to fall. Please be aware of the shoes you wear, you may need to bring some of them in to be modified so they are all appropriate for your prosthetic. We will modify up to three pairs of shoes free of charge.
- Does the end of your limb feel like it is being sucked on, becoming discolored, or developing water blisters? Please ensure there is total contact between the end of your limb and the liner, any air pockets will cause unintended suction and consequences. If you are making complete contact with the limb, you may still have too many socks on causing an excessive reservoir at the bottom of your socket, check to make sure your limb is in the correct anatomical socket position. If water blisters develop, please discontinue use and contact your prosthetist.
- Does the prosthesis feel like it is rotating on your limb as you walk? You most likely need to add socks to adjust for volume loss in the limb.
- Does the prosthesis feel slow or heavier than normal? There is likely a problem with your suspension, evaluate your specific type as instructed by your prosthetist.
- Is your liner slipping off your limb? Your limb has either shrunk or excessive sweating is causing it to fall off, please contact your prosthetist.