Life after an amputation reflects a new transition—one that comes with inevitable challenges and complicated emotions. However, with the right support network, returning to your optimal self with an artificial limb is possible. At Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics, we put patient care first. Let us be a part of the ideal support network for you.
Transitioning to life with an artificial limb
For most amputees, acquiring a prosthetic device is usually the first step in improving quality of life. To do this, you must research carefully and look for a qualified prosthetist. It is extremely important to choose the right prosthetist for you because you will work closely with them for the rest of your life. They will assess your residual limb, work with you on the best fit for your artificial limb, and design and construct that limb for you.
Prostheses can offer you maximum independence by mimicking what natural limbs do. You can regain partial or full mobility, go back to work, continue doing what you love, and restore your self-image. You can still remain active, and even engage in sporting activities with the help of various prosthetic devices made for just that. This means you can live a normal life, despite your circumstances.
What are artificial limbs made of?
Prosthetics are custom made for each patient to achieve an appropriate and comfortable fit. They are typically built from strong, durable, and lightweight material to facilitate movement while still supporting body weight. Some custom limb materials include carbon fiber, acrylic resin, silicone, thermoplastics, aluminum, or titanium.
Finding the right support
Although regaining mobility is an important part of recovery, it does not happen overnight. However, the key to full recovery and a chance at a more normal, happier life is knowing that limited mobility will only be a hindrance if you let it.
You will need patience, physical support, and emotional support to get you through the difficult times. Your friends and family are your first support system, as they will help you through recovery until you regain your independence. You can also look online for help through the many amputee resources that are available. We highly recommend A.B.L.E.—a support group for amputees that prioritizes “empowering each other with knowledge and positivity.”
Peer support is an important part of recovery as well; it can be immensely helpful to talk to someone who shares your experiences. Fellow amputees can offer firsthand insight to answer questions and concerns that you may have, or they can simply be there to remind you that you are not alone in your experience.
Finally, your prosthetist will also be an important person in your recovery. Tell them about any concerns that you have at any point. Your doctor will let you know if you can still go back to your old job or continue performing outdoor activities, and they can also recommend new hobbies to keep you busy. Even if you are having emotional difficulties, talk to them and ask how they can help.
Life can be normal again.
Above all, do not allow the loss of a limb to limit you. Advances in prosthetic technology have ensured that there are devices available that can replace your lost limb and help you live a fulfilling life. No matter the circumstances surrounding your need for a prosthesis, life does not have to come to a standstill.
Set goals and celebrate when you hit new milestones, however small. This could be something as simple as getting into the shower without help. Eventually, the bigger things that signal greater independence (such as going back to work) will come. Until then, live every day one moment at a time.
For more information
At Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics, our team will work together to help bring a sense of normality back into your life. We strive to make the transition as seamless as possible for you. We are your team, and we are available to assist you every step of the way.
If you need support following the loss of a limb, reach out to the orthotics and prosthetics experts at Horton’s. Let us help you return to your optimal self. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (501) 683-8889.