What is a prosthetic leg?

A prosthetic leg is an artificial limb that can be placed where a leg was amputated.

A prosthetic leg is a prosthesis, or artificial limb, that is attached where the leg was amputated due to trauma or illness. While these legs can vary greatly, all modern legs have three main components: the pylon, the socket, and the suspension system. Additional features depend on the type of amputation performed.

Traditionally made of metal rods, the pylon is the skeleton of the prosthetic leg and acts as a supporting structure. More recently, posts have been made from carbon and fiber composites that are much lighter. Sometimes the tower can be covered in foam or plastic, which can be molded and dyed to match the amputee’s skin tone for a more natural look.

Adjustments to a prosthetic leg will be made during several physical therapy sessions.

The socket is the part of the prosthetic leg that connects the prosthesis to the stump, or residual limb. A socket transfers forces from the prosthesis to the stump, which requires the socket to be carefully fitted so as not to damage or irritate the skin. The socket is attached to the limb over a liner and sometimes a prosthetic sock to help with a snug fit.

A prosthetic leg will be fixed at the point where the leg was amputated.

The suspension system is the mechanism responsible for keeping the prosthesis fixed to the body. The type of suspension system depends on the type of amputation performed. Some suspension mechanisms operate by suction, while other artificial legs are attached via a harness system. Patients who have undergone a transfemoral amputation, or above-the-knee amputation, will need a harness system, while patients who have undergone a transtibial amputation, or a below-the-knee amputation, will possibly be able to wear a suspension system. which depends on suction.

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Over-the-knee prosthetic legs are designed to replace a patient’s socket, knee, shin and foot.

In addition to the type of suspension system used in a prosthetic leg, whether the amputation was transfemoral or transtibial imposes other characteristics. For example, a patient who has undergone a transfemoral amputation will need an artificial knee prosthesis. While all prosthetic legs have the three basic components and additional features, it is important to remember that each limb is custom-made for the amputee’s comfort and function.

Prosthetic legs allow amputees greater mobility and independence.

After the amputation has been completed and the swelling has subsided, a plaster cast is taken from the stump. This mold is used to make a duplicate stump to adjust the prosthetic leg as it is being constructed. After the artificial limb is finished, adjustments are made by trial and error during several physical therapy sessions.

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