A Manual for Above-Knee Amputees

Maintenance of the Prosthesis

When one of the non-articulating feet is used, there is very little maintenance required for the below-knee prosthesis other than keeping it clean inside and out. Articulated feet generally need to be lubricated at regular intervals.

The heel height of the shoe is an important factor in the alignment of the prosthesis. Therefore, when shoes are changed, it is important that the effective heel height be the same as the ones used previously. The effective heel height is obtained by subtracting the thickness of the sole of the shoe from the apparent heel height as shown below.

For the same reason, the heels of the shoes should be replaced frequently so that wear will not result in alignment changes. Also, a badly worn shoe will increase the wear on a prosthetic foot.

Prostheses should not be worn without shoes. Not only will it cause excessive stress on the stump and knee joint, but the wear on the foot will result in permanent malalignment.

Most prostheses are water-resistant but few are waterproof. If the foot becomes wet, the shoe should be removed as soon as possible to facilitate drying.

If the amputee has any doubt about the fit, alignment, or condition of the prosthesis or stump, he should consult his prosthetist immediately.

Maintenance requirements for knee units vary. Prosthetists will give instructions for maintenance except for hydraulic units which must be taken care of by the prosthetist or manufacturer. An exchange unit can be provided when a hydraulic unit has to be removed for repair.

Go to next section
Go to previous section
Go to Table of Contents
Copyright 1996 - Alvin L. Muilenburg and A. Bennett Wilson, jr.

The electronic version of this manual is presented by Dankmeyer, Inc., with the permission of the authors. This manual may not be redistributed in any form. In order to obtain printed copies of the manual for personal use or distribution, please go to the ordering information page.