How Prosthetics can help to Improve QoL in Patients who have Lost Limb/s
Sometimes, bone cancer, soft tissue sarcoma or other types of malignancies can result in losing a limb or a part of it, and this is done in order to stop the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body.
Losing a limb can be devastating, as it can cause various physical and emotional challenges and can be difficult to adapt to a new lifestyle. As we know, it greatly affects our mobility and therefore has an impact on our future life. It can affect our ability to walk and balance. The task that we previously used to do with such ease seems to be very difficult, leading to more energy use and fatigue. Losing a limb can also cause something called phantom pain, which comes in the form of a painful sensation in the area of the missing limb.
It can also have a great impact on a person’s mental health and one might suffer from issues like body image and how others perceive them. Activities that you used to do previously, something as simple as leisure pursuits or hobbies might get affected and the same can make you feel alone which in turn can result in social withdrawal. The realization that you might have to depend on somebody else can also make you feel low. Therefore understanding how to deal with these factors are very important in order for us to have a better quality of life.
Apart from positive mindset and physical rehabilitation, one of the ways to manage limb loss is using prosthetics. Prosthetics is the artificial body part that replaces the lost one due to cancer or cancer treatment.
How does prosthetic limbs help?
● It helps a person take care of daily activities such as eating, walking and carrying things.
● It helps in improving self-image. Makes you feel more confident.
● It helps in not only supporting yourself but you can support your dear ones as well in times of need.
● According to AMA journals of ethics, increased prosthetic usage is associated with higher levels of employment, increased quality of life, decreased phantom limb pain, and lower levels of general psychiatric symptoms.
● Not only this, high-tech prostheses allow amputees to run marathons, compete in triathlons and live productive lives.
Cons of prosthetic limbs
● Can be expensive and everybody might not be able to afford it.
● Many can cause skin irritation at the sight where they are fitted.
How to take care of your prosthetic limb?
● Remove the prosthetics before going to sleep, if that’s what’s recommended.
● Inspect your limb’s stump regularly and keep the skin healthy.
● Wear appropriate protection between the stump and the prosthesis.
● Wear the appropriate shoes for a leg prosthesis.
● Clean the socket of the prosthesis.
● See your prosthetist for regular check-ups.
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