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What is an prosthetic expert?

Prosthetic experts are trained in evaluating the unique needs and goals of each individual patient and developing customized prosthetic solutions to meet those needs. They work closely with patients, healthcare teams, and other rehabilitation professionals to provide comprehensive care and support throughout the prosthetic fitting and adjustment process.

The responsibilities of a prosthetic expert may include:

– Assessment and evaluation: Prosthetists assess the physical condition, functional abilities, and lifestyle of the patient to determine the most appropriate prosthetic solution. They may perform physical examinations, evaluate residual limb characteristics, and consider factors such as the patient’s age, activity level, and functional goals.

– Prosthetic design and fabrication: Prosthetists use their expertise in biomechanics, materials, and technologies to design and fabricate prosthetic limbs that are tailored to the individual patient’s needs. This may involve creating a blueprint or a digital model, selecting appropriate materials, and using specialized tools and equipment to build the prosthetic limb.

– Prosthetic fitting and alignment: Prosthetists ensure that the prosthetic limb is properly fitted and aligned to optimize function and comfort. This may involve making adjustments to the socket, alignment, and components of the prosthetic limb to ensure proper fit, alignment, and function.

– Patient education and training: Prosthetic experts educate and train patients on how to use and care for their prosthetic limbs. This may include teaching patients how to put on and take off the prosthetic limb, how to walk or perform specific activities with the prosthetic limb, and how to perform routine maintenance and care.

– Follow-up care and adjustments: Prosthetists provide ongoing follow-up care to monitor the patient’s progress and make necessary adjustments to the prosthetic limb as needed. This may involve addressing issues such as discomfort, fit changes, or functional changes, and making modifications to ensure optimal performance and comfort.

– Collaborative care: Prosthetic experts often work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other members of the rehabilitation team, to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care for the patient. They may collaborate on treatment plans, share information, and work together to achieve the patient’s rehabilitation goals.

– Stay updated with latest advancements: Prosthetic experts may stay updated with the latest advancements in prosthetic technology, materials, and techniques through continuous education, research, and professional development, in order to provide the best possible care to their patients.

Prosthetic experts play a vital role in helping individuals with limb loss regain independence, mobility, and quality of life by providing customized prosthetic solutions and ongoing care. They work closely with patients to understand their unique needs and goals and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive care throughout the prosthetic fitting and adjustment process.

What are the main causes of limb loss worldwide ?

There are several main causes of limb loss worldwide, which include:

  1. Trauma: Trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, gunshot wounds, explosions, and other forms of severe injury, can result in limb loss. Traumatic injuries can cause severe damage to the limbs, leading to amputation or the need for surgical removal of a limb.

  2. Vascular Disease: Vascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes-related vascular complications, and arteriosclerosis, can restrict blood flow to the limbs, leading to tissue damage and ultimately limb loss. Vascular diseases are a significant cause of lower limb amputations, particularly in elderly individuals with diabetes or other risk factors.

  3. Cancer: Cancerous tumors, especially bone and soft tissue sarcomas, can require surgical removal of affected limbs in order to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. In some cases, primary amputation may be part of the treatment plan for certain types of malignant tumors.

  4. Congenital Limb Deficiencies: Some individuals are born with limb deficiencies, which may be due to genetic factors, environmental factors, or unknown causes. Congenital limb deficiencies are present from birth and may result in partial or complete absence of a limb, which may require a prosthetis arm or leg or orthotic interventions for functional mobility.

  5. Infection: Severe infections, such as chronic osteomyelitis or necrotizing fasciitis, can cause extensive damage to the bones, muscles, and soft tissues of the limbs. In some cases, amputation may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the body.

  6. Peripheral Neuropathy: Peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterized by nerve damage, often due to diabetes or other systemic conditions, can result in loss of sensation, muscle weakness, and foot deformities that may require amputation if not properly managed.

  7. Birth Injuries: Injuries that occur during childbirth, such as brachial plexus injuries or other birth traumas, may result in damage to nerves or blood vessels in the limbs, leading to limb loss in some cases.

It’s important to note that the causes of limb loss can vary significantly depending on geographical location, socioeconomic factors, and access to healthcare. Prevention, early detection, and appropriate management of underlying conditions or injuries can help reduce the risk of limb loss in many cases. Proper medical care, rehabilitation, and prosthetic or orthotic interventions can also help individuals with limb loss regain independence and improve their quality of life.