The Quality of a Fitting
Rehabilitation is not over with the completion of the healing process and the prosthetic fitting. The fitting should – if it follows an operation or a congenital malformation – recreate the body image as closely as possible. Comfort is not the only factor however; it should also come down to how the prosthesis will actually be used helpfully in daily life and what practical advantages it offers. This is the place for occupational therapy that should be prescribed by the attending physician. The goal of occupational therapy is the retention, restoration or replacement of important movements. This enables the patient to do everyday activities like eating, dressing and washing largely on his own and independently.
The cleaning and induration of the residual limb is especially important at the beginning. The hygienic measures for the residual limb are just as important after the wound has healed. The residual limb should be washed daily, ideally in the evening after wearing the prosthesis, using lots of lukewarm water and a little gentle soap. The inner socket of the prosthesis should also be wiped off with a slightly moist towel. This significantly reduces the risk of skin diseases and fungus infections, which can emerge as a result of sweating. Regular washing and rubbing down with a hand towel increase the resilience of the skin. This is required for the hygiene of the residual limb and for the wearing of the prosthesis. Other materials for rubbing down the skin, such as beans, corn or sand can also be used.
Functional Training of the Residual Limb
Targeted exercises will mobilize and improve the remaining joints’ ability to move, while the muscles will also be strengthened and the residual limb will get used to holding the prosthesis in place. Exercises for the residual limb include games with light balls or a balloon.