April 17, 2018
As an athlete, you already know that wearing a prosthetic limb does not have to hold you back. However, you also know that sports season can bring some unique challenges when it comes to prosthetic care.
If you have specialized prosthetics for sports in Arkansas, the systems for taking care of them are not radically different than taking care of non-sports devices. However, the action that your limb will see on the court, field, or track means that it will accumulate more oil, sweat, and dirt than prosthetic limbs normally see. That is why caring for your prosthetic involves not just the prosthetic limb itself, but the skin with which it comes into contact.
Avoid problems for both your prosthetic and residual limbs by having several types of interfaces available. Reserve some liners or socks just for practice and meets. In addition, you will want to have different thicknesses of interfaces to meet the changing conditions of the weather and your own body. Make sure to put on only clean, dry interfaces, without too much soap used when they were hand-washed.
Remove the gel liner for your prosthetic limb when you are done with your workout. Wipe down any grime on the outside, then turn it inside out and wash the gel portion with antibacterial soap and warm water. Do not forget to rinse well and dry thoroughly with a clean cloth.
During sports season, you should be examining all parts of your prosthetic limb more closely than you normally would. Check for loosened bolts or screws, as well as cracks or unusual noises. Of course, cleaning should also be more frequent. The inside socket may need more than the usual weekly cleaning with soap and water. Certainly make it a point to regularly spray it with a alcohol-based cleaner, before wiping it down.
Caring for the Residual Limb
All the bending and twisting you will be doing means that your prosthetic limb and your residual limb will be impacting one another more vigorously than normal. That is why taking care of your skin in this area should also be an extra priority when you are constantly at practice or games. What starts off as irritation can lead to skin breakdown issues such as sores and blisters. If you hurt too much to put on the prosthetic, this risks taking you out of the game. In turn, you can get a serious infection, risking your overall health.
In the mornings, but especially after you work out, wash your residual limb with antibacterial soap. Your prosthetics for sports in Arkansas team can also give tips on special antiperspirant sprays or specialty lotions that may work best for your limb. The wrong OTC products can cause irritation and drying.
Do you have a prosthetic foot in Arkansas, or possibly a prosthetic leg, that you are concerned about? Our dedicated team can tell you more about caring for your device, both during the sports season and during the rest of the year. Contact Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics by calling (501) 683-8889 for tips, advice and any adjustments you may need.