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Managing Phantom Limb Pain
Learning to Walk with a Prosthetic Leg
Infants who are born with a missing or partial limb, or children who lose a limb through injury or amputation, should be evaluated by a prosthetist as soon as possible. Often it is appropriate for infants and very young children to be fit with a passive prosthesis right away so that the prosthetic limb is incorporated into their developing body image. This can also help children socially as they begin interacting with their peers.
Limb loss patients from infants to about 18 years old may require a new socket and other prosthetic modifications at least once a year and should be evaluated by their clinician every three to six months.One of the ways Hanger Clinic has made the fitting process easier for pediatric patients is with the Insignia™ Laser Scanning System. Insignia makes it easy to measure and fit pediatric patients for a prosthetic socket, brace or support. With a hand-held scanner and a computer, your clinician can capture and store 3-D images of the affected area and then use these to make the socket. Insignia images are exact to within one millimeter and the scanning process is quick, easy and painless. There may be some circumstances where your clinician prefers to do a traditional cast of the affected area using plaster or another malleable material.
Babies and children tend to be more adaptable than adults when it comes to wearing a limb loss device. Infants born with an absent or partially formed limb are usually fit with a prosthesis when they begin to pull up and stand, which is about six to eight months of age. Children should begin physical therapy and be fit with a limb loss device (prosthesis) as soon as possible.It is important to work with a physical/occupational therapist who specializes in children and their developmental stages. Most children adapt naturally to their prosthesis, especially if they have been wearing it since the age of six or eight months. Therapy for preschool age children is often presented as games or free playing.Consult your prosthetist for their recommendation for an experienced pediatric lower limb/extremity therapist.Interested in learning more? Call 1-877-4HANGER or visit this page to request more information.