Prosthetic Leg Below the Knee Bay Area
Prosthetic leg below the knee, AKA BK prosthetic accounts for most amputees wearing prosthetics. There is multiple prosthesis for both below the knee amputees as well as above the knee amputees. The most frequently used prosthesis for below the knee amputees include, the Preparatory Prosthesis, the Patella-Tendon Weight Bearing Prosthesis, the Total Surface Bearing Prosthesis, and the Joint-Corset Prosthesis.
The factors that go into deciding which below the knee Prosthesis is right for you are decided upon by identifying two key clinical components. A patients K-Level addresses their current level of ambulation and a patient’s ADLs speak directly to their “Activities of Daily Living”, which refer to what outcomes are possible with a rehabilitation intervention intended to maintain an amputee’s independence once they receive their prosthetic device.
Depending on K-level and ADL scores, amputees are eligible for specific componentry that below the knee devices are fabricated with. Below the knee prosthetics incorporate multiple elements which include a socket, a pylon, an ankle and a foot. Each of these components has a very specific role in the operation of the overall prosthetic device. Sockets are always very specific and customized to the exact shape and size of the amputee’s residual limb. Pylons are measured and fit based on an amputee’s height and gait pattern. The ankle and foot components come in different categories depending on activity level, size and weight of the amputee.
According to the affordable care act (ACA), small group insurance plans cover the Essential health Benefits, and this includes prosthetics. Many times, even large corporation plans offer prosthetic limb coverage. These two scenarios cover most of the commercial insurance options available. Federal payers such as Medicare and Medicaid also cover prosthetic devices. It is very rare that a patient would be in a self-pay scenario should they need a prosthetic limb.
As a new below the knee amputee, your shrinker should be worn 23 hours a day, except when you are washing your residual limb. The shrinker plays a critical role in the initial shaping of your residual limb and can prevent complications such as dog ears and ununiform healing. As an existing amputee you only need to wear your shrinker while you are sleeping at night. It is essential that you remove your prosthetic device before going to be each night. Sleeping with your below the knee prosthetic device on can cause injuries to the residual limb related to awkward or painful sleeping positions and potential constant pressure points which can create volumetric or bony prominence issues with your sockets fit.
As a new amputee just fitted with a prosthetic below the knee device your first question is most likely going to be, how long is it going to take to walk on your prosthetic leg. Most people learn how to use their prosthetic leg within five months after surgery, this of course is only an average. Motivation is the key ingredient for amputees to achieve Activities of Daily Living results faster than the baseline averages reported by industry research studies.
New below the knee amputees often ask if having a prosthetic leg is a disability? Your application for social security benefits may be denied if you have a prosthetic limb that allows you to ambulate effectively. Benefits may be available if you can prove that even with your prosthetic device you have limits to your ambulation that you did not have previously. The amount of time that you can stand or walk can be directly related to acquiring such benefits. Your prior scope of work and your current ability to achieve that scope of work is a qualifying factor and can also determine whether you are eligible for benefits.
New below the knee amputees can experience phantom pain and phantom sensation, both of which can last for a long time or subside very quickly. There are many exercises to alleviate these potential conditions, which should be started immediately after surgery to minimize your chances of these issues setting in. Residual limb pain is generally caused by limb shrinkage. Clearly limb shrinkage effects how your prosthetic device fits and feels, this should be monitored frequently to avoid any onset of chronic pain. Amputees are often eligible for new devices, especially new sockets based off medical necessity. The medical necessity most frequently justifying a new socket is anatomical or volumetric change of the residual limb.
There are many additional topics of conversation regarding what to expect as a new below the knee amputee. What is important to understand is that while prosthetic leg below the knee replacement is never going to replace a natural limb, technology in this industry is making incredible advances daily. Amputees are achieving amazing results by taking advantage of today’s technologies which are allowing them to enjoy life and everything they were previously able to do prior to their amputation.
Synergy prides itself on being at the leading edge of the prosthetic technology boom this industry has experienced over the last ten years. We are an innovative minded company striving to service amputees at the highest level possible by taking advantage of the current advancements available in the industry and implementing them with focused expertise.