This is the point at which the amputee receives their prosthesis and training begins on all aspects of how to use the prosthesis effectively. The amputee also needs to pay special attention to their stump condition.
The prosthetist will explain how to fit and remove the liner and prosthesis correctly. The various components which make up the prosthesis are explained as well as their care and maintainence. It is important to know which substances, cleaning agents to use with the various components to avoid damage to the stump and prosthesis.
Gait training and analysis
The amputee needs to learn how to place and control the prosthesis during ambulation. Weight transfer needs to be performed with the confidence of the amputee knowing the prosthesis can hold them and, in the case of above knee amputees, how to activate the prosthetic knee so that it will not “buckle” under load. In our practice, we also use RS scan technology with a 2m plate to analyse weight transfer throughout the gait cycle as well as gait symmetry.
A list of ADL (activities of daily living) tasks are set up for each amputee to achieve with respect to their specific home and work environment. They are then taught various ways of accomplishing these tasks with their prosthesis. Some of these basis tasks would include walking in crowds; changing direction & speed; using public transport or a private vehicle; stairs and uneven ground; how to open and close doors, etc.
It is important to check your stump regularly when wearing a prosthesis for the first time and to follow the guidelines your prosthetist has given with regard to how long to wear the prosthesis.
The biokineticist / physiotherapist will teach the amputee how to balance using their new prosthesis.
Fine-tuning and alignment
A test socket is fitted to the prosthesis inorder to make adjustments of the socket for optimal fit. Minor adjustments to the alignment of the various components are then made by the prosthetist. Static alignment is then checked with a laser beam system and dynamic alignment is checked on the RS scan technology.