Types Of Prosthetic Limbs
Introduction To Types Of Prosthetic Limbs
There are many types of prosthetic limbs, and in order to choose the prosthetic limb that will be the most appropriate, people in need of prosthetic limbs need to pay attention to a number of issues. First of all, they have to talk to their doctor about what type would be the best for their situation, they are then advised to join a support group in order to learn about other peoples' experiences. They also need to see whether the NHS offers the prosthetics they are interested in or find a private clinic and the price of private prosthetics. Everything must be done very carefully because deciding on a prosthetic limb is a serious and important decision that will affect the life of the individual in the long term. It is important that the prosthetic limb suits its user because from the decision and on, more complex things need to be accepted, such as living with the prosthesis, getting comfortable with it and learning how to use it for everyday activities.
Types Of Prosthetic Limbs
Prosthetic limbs can work in different ways and there are different types of shapes and sizes of prosthetic limbs, so they are divided into two groups. The first group consists of: body-powered prosthetic limbs (fingers and hand move using cables), cosmetic prosthetic limbs (fingers and hand do not move, this prosthesis is used only for aesthetical appearance), externally powered prosthetic limbs (muscle contractions are used to move parts of the hand) and robotic limbs (the technology has not yet been fully tested, it is still in an experimental phase, uses brain to control the limb).
In the second group there are four types of prosthetic limbs, and they depend on which part of the limb is missing:
- Transtibial prosthesis - this prosthesis replaces the leg missing below the knee. Users of this type of prosthesis are able to move quite easily because they have their own knee which allows them easier movement.
- Transfemoral prosthesis - this prosthesis replaces a leg missing above the knee. Users of this type of prosthesis have a more difficult recovery period because of the missing knee joint. These people need 80% more energy to walk than people with their own legs.
- Transradial prosthesis - this prosthesis replaces an arm missing below the elbow. The recovery with this type of prosthesis is fairly easy, considering the amount of energy needed to use it.
- Transhumeral prosthesis - this prosthesis replaces an arm missing above the elbow. Users have similar recovery to those of the transtibial prosthesis because of the missing elbow
Besides deciding on a type of prosthetic limb, people in need of it should think about the different materials that are being used for manufacturing these limbs. For example, some materials are more expensive than others and, consequently, the prosthetic limb will be more expensive if made out of these materials. Generally speaking, choosing the best prosthetic limb comes down to the personal feeling of the user and the doctor's recommendation of the type of prosthetic limb considering the individuals personal lifestyle and activities.