A Manual for Below-Knee Amputees

Training

Although the below-knee and Syme's amputee have normal knee function training in their use is necessary if optimum gait and comfort are to be obtained. Early training is provided by the prosthetist during fitting trials.

Physical therapists usually provide the additional training as required. The new prosthesis should be worn initially for short periods and wearing time increased each day depending upon individual situations.

One of the greatest problems in obtaining good performance and maximum comfort is caused by over weight of the amputee. Fluctuations in body weight are reflected in the stump where changes in volume result in poor fit, discomfort, and consequently poor performance. A reasonable exercise program and a sensible diet are important factors in the health and well being of everyone, but even more so in the case of amputees.

Slight reduction in size of the stump can be accommodated by adjustments to the socket, but the prosthetist can do little about expanding the size of a socket and almost any increase in size of the stump means a new prosthesis.


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Copyright 1996 - Alvin L. Muilenburg and A. Bennett Wilson, jr.

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