CARE AND USE OF YOUR DEVICE
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Congratulations on receiving your new prosthesis. It is important to gradually increase your wearing time in order to “break in” the prosthesis. Because this is a new device, your residual limb will need to get used to the new pressures that are applied to it. By gradually increasing your wearing time, your limb can gradually get used to the device and any issues can be caught before problems arise. This is especially important if you are a diabetic or if your skin is sensitive or compromised.
On the first day you receive the prosthesis, you should begin by wearing it for only 30 minutes. After the 30-minute time period, remove the prosthesis and examine your residual limb. Some red marks are expected in locations where your residual limb can tolerate pressure. These red marks are not a concern and will go away within 20 to 30 minutes of removing the prosthesis. If there are red marks that do not go away, bruising, blisters, or abrasions, do not put the prosthesis back on until you talk to your prosthetist. If you have a shrinker, this should be put on your limb when the prosthesis is off.
If there are no problems, the following day the wear time can be increased to 30 minutes 3 times per day. A good way to remember this schedule is to put on the prosthesis after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Again, examine your residual limb every time you take the prosthesis off.
If there are no problems, the wearing time can be increased daily. On the third day wear the prosthesis for 45 minutes 3 times a day, on the fourth day, 60 minutes 3 times a day and so on.
This schedule is just a guideline. It may vary depending on the integrity of your residual limb, if this is your first prosthesis, and your general health. Please discuss the best wearing schedule for you with your prosthetist or therapist.
For more information, please see our blog post on orthotic wearing schedules.