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How Do Below-Knee Prosthetics Work?

One of the most common limb resection procedures is transtibial amputation, sometimes referred to as below-knee amputation. A below-knee prosthetic is used to replace the portion of the missing leg that is below the knee joint and above the ankle in a transtibial excision.

Keep reading to learn more about below-knee transtibial amputation, the prosthetic that goes along with it, and what to expect from the procedure.

What Is Below-Knee Amputation?

A transtibial amputation, also known as a below-knee amputation, is a surgical technique used to amputate a lower leg below the knee when it has suffered significant trauma or disease. Peripheral vascular disease, or a condition affecting the circulation in the lower limb, is the primary cause of transtibial amputations. Poor circulation hinders the immune system’s ability to repair and respond to harm; as a result, foot or leg ulcers may develop. These ulcers could become infected, fail to heal, or even spread to the bone, making them potentially fatal. Amputation is done to get rid of the unhealthy tissue and stop the infection from getting worse.

Finding the Right Prosthetic

Based on the patient’s physical examination results, medical history, and interview, the best prosthetic is chosen. An interface, a socket, a suspension modality, a prosthetic foot, and a connection between the socket and the foot make up a conventional prosthetic. The remaining limb’s shape is analyzed, allowing the cast to be altered to permit weight-bearing in the proper places, and a diagnostic socket is created to assess comfort and functionality. Finding an experienced prostheticist can help make this process even easier, as they will know how to help the patient get exactly what they need from their prosthetic.

Prior to Surgery

Before your surgery, your physical therapist may prescribe workouts to help you prepare for surgery and to increase your hip and knee strength and flexibility. They may also demonstrate how to use a walker or crutches to walk, as well as go over what will happen after the surgery and align your expectations, and make certain you don’t have any surprises.

After Surgery

After surgery, as soon as your condition is stable and your doctor gives you the all-clear for rehabilitation, physical therapy will start. A physical therapist will visit your bedside and go over your medical and surgical background. Your first two to three days of treatment could include:

  • Stretching gently and performing range-of-motion activities
  • Understanding the proper positioning for your surgery limb to avoid contractures (the inability to straighten the knee joint fully, which results from keeping the limb bent too much)
  • Gaining knowledge of how to turn over, sit on the side of the bed, and safely transfer to a chair

Prevention of Contractures

Contracture is the tightening of soft tissues that restricts joint motion. Muscles and soft tissues stiffen as a result of immobility, leading to the disease. The knee’s flexion and inability to straighten are the most frequent contractures experienced after transtibial amputation. The hip could also potentially stiffen.

Early contracture prevention is crucial because if they are not treated after surgery, during the healing process, and once rehabilitation is complete, they may become permanent. Contractures can make it more difficult to walk and use your prosthetic, which increases the requirement for an assistance device like a walker.

Compression to Reduce Swelling

Suffering from postoperative edema is common. Your physical therapist will work with you to keep compression on your residual limb in order to safeguard it, lessen and regulate edema, and promote healing. Compression can be implemented by wrapping the limb with elastic bandages or wearing an elastic shrinker sock. These techniques also assist in shaping the limb to prepare it for prosthetic leg fitting.

Instead of using elastic bandages, a stiff dressing or plaster cast may be utilized in specific circumstances. A plaster or plastic immediate postoperative prosthetic may also be used. Each person’s situation determines the approach that is taken. Your physical therapist will help monitor the fit of these devices and train you in their use. Swelling reduction is the main objective of your care at this time.

Proactive Treatment

Many patients are given prosthetic gel liners, which may be cleaned with mild soap and water every day. As soap residue might irritate the skin, it is crucial to thoroughly wash it out of the liner.

After receiving a prosthetic, the patient usually needs to undergo motion training. The patient uses the prosthesis and communicates any problems with the certified prosthetist. This could include any signs of wear to the prosthetic, any discomfort the patient may feel, and if there is persistent tissue redness even after thirty minutes of removing the prosthetic. Additional prosthetic training with a physical or occupational therapist may be necessary to keep treatment proactive, and the patient might need to wear socks to compensate for a loss in density to the volume fluctuation anytime during the day. To help prevent swelling and preserve volume overnight, it might also be suggested that a shrinker sock be worn while asleep.

Guided Rehabilitation

The process of receiving prosthetic training can take up to a full year. When your doctor gives you the all-clear to put weight on the prosthetic, you can start. Your physical therapist will help you learn to stand, balance, and walk with the prosthetic leg. Most likely, you’ll start off with parallel bars, move on to a walker, and then, as your strength increases, you might advance to using a cane before walking independently without any support. As you resume many of the activities you engaged in prior to your amputation, you’ll also need to keep up with strengthening and flexibility exercises in order to reach your full potential. Human bodies are amazingly adaptable, but it’s best to help prepare them and train them so as to avoid additional injury from misuse.

Return to Recreational and Sports Activities

If you enjoy sports or are physically active, you might also want to speak with a recreational physical therapist who can advise you on the best-adapted recreation gear to use. The recreational physical therapist can support your return to sports like cycling, golf, hiking, jogging, and swimming depending on your own objectives and preferred leisure pursuits. Your best option for participating in these activities can also be determined by a prosthetist. Your physical therapist can assist you in locating local support groups for persons who have undergone amputation as well, which will provide you with helpful information and a community to bond with.

What You Should Know

The majority of people are unaware of the problems that may develop when they add a prosthetic to their lives. Even if some of them may cause issues, none of them will significantly impact your life as long as you take the time to learn how to deal with them. As with many things, it is best to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach.

One issue you might encounter is excessive perspiration, a condition that happens when the body is having trouble controlling its temperature. Another is the limb’s shape altering as the body gets used to the new prosthetic. The prosthetic can change shape as a result of the remaining portion of the knee rubbing and pressing on it as well, which may indicate that you require padding or perhaps a replacement.

On top of providing numerous physical and mental benefits, a high-quality prosthetic device has the ability to greatly enhance your quality of life and protect you from social isolation. If you’re ready for a below-knee prosthetic and need an experienced team to help you get exactly what you want, reach out to FitProsthetics. No matter what questions you have, we can help with them. Give us a call at (801) 912-0500 or contact us today for more information!

What Are 3D Limb Scans?

Studies suggest that 2050 will see nearly 3.6 million individuals with limb loss, and this figure is just for the US alone! As such, the prosthetics industry would have to keep up with the ramped-up demand without compromising quality, durability, and comfort. 

A bulk of the potential problems could be solved by streamlining the socket creation process. After all, it is the starting point of prosthetic design. The socket is the portion of the prosthetic interface with the patient’s residual limb. As such, it plays a vital role in determining the fit, control, and build of the prosthetic. Creating the socket traditionally involves processes like plaster casting. This is time intensive and heavily dependent on the prosthetists’ skills and experience. 

Because of this, it is time to overhaul such a cumbersome process with efficient innovation. Enter 3D limb scanning. With it, the time and effort it takes to make the best prosthetic possible for everyone is greatly altered, allowing those who need them to have the prosthetic they both need and deserve quickly.

Let’s take a closer look at 3D scanning and what exactly it means for prosthetic designs.

What Is 3D Scanning? How Can It Be Used for Prosthetics?

3D scanning is the process of analyzing a real-world object using high-precision technology like lasers, photogrammetry, or structured light scanning. It captures all the details required to digitally recreate the physical object’s shape and appearance, including colors and textures.

The data collected thus creates 3D models representing the original object, which can then be used as a base for related 3D projects. From this very definition, it is evident that 3D scanning can be used to design prosthetics efficiently. The technology can come in handy to scan the residual limb. The 3D model created thus can then act as a base for designing the socket or the prosthetic in its entirety.

Advantages of 3D Limb Scanning

3D limb scanning comes with the following advantages:

Non-Contact, Non-Invasive

3D limb scanning is completely non-invasive because the 3D scanner will never come in physical contact with the residual limb. Whether a 3D scanning booth or handheld 3D scanners are used, they will capture all the necessary details from different angles from a distance and without any direct physical contact.


Unlike plaster casting which can take a few hours, 3D scanning is quick and seamless. A single scan in a 3D scanning booth can take as little as 10 seconds for a full-body scan! Portable 3D scanners may take a few minutes to construct the 3D model (provided you sit still), but either way, a few minutes is vastly shorter than a few hours, saving valuable time.


Just because 3D scanners can do the job quickly does not mean they compromise on the quality of the scan. 3D scanners leverage high-precision technology to give highly accurate results. The scans are consistent and reliable even when set on repeat under the same conditions.

High Resolution

If swiftness and accuracy were not compelling enough reasons to make a case for 3D scanning, the technology seals the deal by adding in the fact that every scan is in high resolution. 3D scanners are capable of detecting shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and more that may not be apparent to the human eye. 

Affordable Prosthetics

Cost efficiency is an indirect benefit of 3D limb scanning as well. 3D scanning opens up the possibility of 3D printing prosthetics. Such prosthetics are found to be cheaper, more lightweight, and more valuable than their traditional counterparts. At the same time, 3D scanning customizes the prosthetic design, which is a major development we will discuss in detail in the following section. 

Can 3D Scanning Customize Prosthetic Limb Designs?

Until recent times, prosthetics came with sockets having standardized shapes and sizes. Patients had to use items like gel and foam liners to enjoy some amount of customization. In a way, the wearer had to mold their residual limb to force fit the socket which caused discomfort and took away from the usability of the prosthetic.

However, all of that is changing with the adoption of 3D limb scanning. 3D scanning lays the foundation of socket design customization as per the specific needs of the patient and vice versa.

It starts with the prosthetist taking a 3D scan of the residual limb. As stated already, the process will be seamless, painless, and quick. This 3D limb scan will help with the creation of the 3D model of the residual limb. This model can now be used as the base to reverse engineer the prosthetic socket design.

As such, the socket would be built around the residual limb, making the prosthetic a natural extension of the body. The resulting prosthetic socket would be tightly coupled with the shape and size of the residual limb, thereby offering a snug fit. Accordingly, it would minimize discomfort in using the prosthetic while granting greater control and expanding its value. This greatly helps those wearing prosthetics to wear them more regularly. 

3D limb scanning can also be used to scan the other functional limb to ensure that the volumetric and surface measurement of the prosthetic complement the specifications of the existing one. Such a design consideration ensures that both the limbs’ load-bearing capacity and general usability are comparable. This quality becomes even more valuable if you are getting specialized prosthetics made, such as those for high-impact sporting events, as these design considerations help optimize overall performance.

What to Expect During 3D Limb Scanning

Prosthetists typically use handheld 3D limb scanners rather than a full-body scanning booth. These structure sensor scanners could be mounted on devices like iPads. The process will be non-invasive, non-contact, quick, and effortless.

If you are interested in getting the 3D limb scanning process done, it’s important to know what to expect during the scanning appointment itself:

  • You will be made to sit elevated on a patient examination table and asked to extend the residual limb as much as possible. You can use your hands to support the limb but make sure that it is positioned well above the socket trim lines, or else it may interfere with the 3D scanning to reproduce incorrect limb shape.
  • The prosthetist will then move the device to the same level as the limb to scan the lateral side. They will observe the scan from the viewfinder and control the degree to which the limb needs to be scanned.
  • Once they have determined the optimum distance to perform the scan, they will start scanning. They move the camera up and down to capture more detail of the limb from different angles.
  • After the lateral scanning is complete, they will slowly move to the anterior portion while maintaining a consistent distance from the limb. They will then sweep the scanner down to the distal end of the limb and continue to the posterior to gain maximum coverage.
  • Finally, they will move to the medial side. Once again, they will move the camera to get details from different angles.
  • They will then review the captured scan and upload it to the editing software, where they will finetune the design further.

That’s it! That’s all it takes to get your 3D limb scan done.

Shaping the Future of Prosthetics

There is no contest that 3D limb scanning is changing the face of prosthetics—specifically, the sockets. Socket design customization welcomes a host of benefits, starting with the ease of using the prosthetic.

Whether using 3D scanners to decrease the cost of prosthetics or to design high-performance prosthetics, Fit Prosthetics has the right set of tools and technologies to make it happen. We manufacture true-to-design and true-to-fit prosthetics that infuse wearers with comfort and confidence, improving their quality of life. We aim to offer our customers the ultimate care by combining cost-efficiency with fast turnaround times. For any and all questions, reach out to us today.

3 Prominent Types of Partial Hand Prosthetics

You may have to go through several assessments before discovering a prosthetic hand that functions best, but the time and effort you put into exploring the prosthetics are worthwhile in the long run. While there are various prosthetics to choose from, many patients still face difficulties doing so.

To assist you in making an informed decision about which partial hand prosthetic type is most appropriate and applicable to your needs, here is a concise guide that introduces the prominent types of partial hand prosthetics. 

1. Body-Powered Partial Hand Prosthetic

Body-powered partial hand prosthetics are helpful aids that can support the person’s normal hand and reinstate the capability to grasp and hold objects. Individuals involved in physical labor or heavy-duty tasks at their job or around the house may prefer the durability and functionality offered by body-powered prosthetics because they can withstand hostile environmental conditions such as being exposed to dirt, humidity, presumably heavy loads, and vibration. This makes them an appealing option for people who engage in these activities. You can consider projects such as installing fencing or operating a garden mower as examples of such tasks. 

Typically, a harness and cable are used to control the operation of a body-powered prosthetic. The movements of your forearm, shoulders, and chest get recorded by the harness, communicated to the cable system, and utilized to open and retract the hook or hand in a manner that is analogous to the operation of the handbrake system in bicycles. As you become acclimated to the sensation of variable tension on the wire, you may experience a better feel of the arm’s location and the extent of openness on the terminal device. The user of a body-powered prosthetic receives useful tactile input about the environment around them, and the prosthetic itself often functions as an extra limb. These prosthetic hands are easier to operate, more reliable, demand less maintenance, and in many cases, are available at a lower cost than alternative hand options. However, the power and strength required to operate your prosthetic hand comfortably depend on various patient characteristics. These factors include your endurance, posture, and other possible mobility in the anatomical joints. 

The most significant disadvantage of utilizing a body-powered prosthetic is that it is burdensome because it needs you to operate the device while also wearing a harness and wire system.

2. Electrically/Externally Powered Partial Hand Prosthetic

Electrically powered partial hand prosthetics utilize external power sources to move and administer your prosthetic hands. These prosthetic devices deliver active motion that does not require you to use gross motor movements. These prosthetics rely on sensors and other input forms to gather electrical signals from the residual muscles. Battery packs, electrodes, actuators, sensors, and other electronic components are integral parts of these systems and serve as a mediator in completing the power and input transmission pathway. Next, the bioelectric impulses are amplified, analyzed, and modulated to operate your prosthetic hand.

It allows many grips and hand positions to be conducted according to the hand or control system. With the right amount of practice and training, a person with a myoelectric prosthetic can do anything a person without a prosthetic can, including driving a car, lifting heavy objects, engaging in craftwork, and much more. This prosthetic lets you have a firm grasp while yet being able to perform delicate tasks. 

There is less need for harnessing with electrically driven prosthetics. You get access to frictionless strength and different gripping patterns, your hands can move more naturally, and undergoing targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) surgery allows for a more instinctive command of the prosthetic. These prosthetics offer users more mobility and less restriction because they typically do not call for supplementary straps and all-encompassing cable systems to keep the prosthetic in place. In addition, the system requires little in the way of strength or force to operate proactively. 

Electric prosthetics have a disadvantage though in that they aren’t water resistant. However, recent developments in water-resistant technologies have allowed some terminal devices and joints to overcome this obstacle also.

3. Hybrid Partial Hand Prosthetic

A hybrid prosthetic allows you to operate both your elbow and the hand concurrently, thanks to the hybrid device’s combination of body power and myoelectric control. This means that some parts of the prosthetic get operated mechanically or electronically while others are controlled autonomously by joints or belt-and-tension mechanisms. This configuration leads to weight reduction and eliminates the complication of the trans humeral prosthetic system while simultaneously providing for the rapid movement of the elbow to position the terminal device. 

For prosthetics for your upper arm, a myoelectric hand, for instance, may be paired with an elbow joint governed by a tension system. In this configuration, the opening and closing of the prosthetic hand are accomplished electrically through the application of external force (my signals), and the flexing and bending of your forearm are achieved through the application of tension bandages. To put it simply, this configuration is self-powered. Given the individuality of each patient’s rehabilitative objectives, a combination of tools (hybrid prosthesis) may be necessary to maximize the likelihood of successful functional recovery.

How to Choose the Most Appropriate Partial Hand Prosthetic

Depending on how quickly you recover from surgery, prosthetic services can commence in as little as two weeks. There are situations where a prosthetic is needed soon after surgery, if not immediately. The sooner you start using the prosthetic after surgery, the quicker you’ll get used to it. 

Certain things you must keep in mind while deciding on the type of partial hand prosthetic to install include the following:

Consider Your Lifestyle

Because of the intricate anatomy of the human arm and hand, it is often advised that numerous terminal devices or prosthetic devices be used for each amputation level. Therefore, to achieve the best results possible, it is up to each person to select the most appropriate equipment for the task at hand and their general lifestyle.

Explore All Available and Applicable Prosthetic Options

Contrary to common misconceptions, upper limb amputees can choose from a wide variety of prosthetic options. Some prosthetics, for instance, can be outfitted with various attachments to help you keep up with outdoor pursuits like adventure sports and camping. Never forget that you can and should seek better options rather than settling for something that isn’t ideal!

Evaluate Bionic and Non-bionic Options

There is a trade-off between the convenience and durability of bionic solutions. Bionic solutions are intriguing since they are intuitive and can increase your grip strength with electrical power.

If you’re in this position, you’ll require a bionic prosthetic for easier tasks and another alternative for more demanding work. If you prefer a non-bionic alternative, your partial hand’s size and form will determine whether a body-powered or mechanical device is more appropriate.

Cost Considerations

Thankfully, most insurance plans will pay for any prosthetics you might require. However, it is crucial to discuss your coverage options with your prosthetic provider because each plan and the level of coverage are distinctive. Once that’s settled, you can figure out the costs if you need to pay for the prosthetic from your pocket.

Picking the Best Prosthesis

Patients should put much thought into picking the best prosthetic hand for their needs. If you are seeking novel experiences, you may find it challenging to settle on the best option, given the abundance of alternatives. Fortunately, prosthetic advancements have allowed users to choose a hand that best suits their lifestyle and demands, regardless of the activity.

Are you thinking about getting a prosthetic? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at FIT Prosthetics if you have any concerns regarding the various prosthetics available. We take pleasure in helping you sort through the maze of advanced technologies to arrive at the most suitable prosthetic for your needs. Our highly-qualified and trained professionals can assist you in every aspect of your recovery and deliver a comprehensive and coordinated service. Contact us today to set up a consultation if you’re interested in learning more about our mobility services and solutions.

What are Myoelectric (I-Limb) Hands?

Most people are familiar with prosthetic limbs, which are artificial limbs that replace a person’s missing appendage. But what many people don’t know is that there are different types of prosthetics, including myoelectric hands. Myoelectric hands are prosthetic hands that are controlled by the user’s muscles. 

This blog features everything you need to know about myoelectric hands and their key advantages. Curious about what those advantages are? Then read on to learn more!

Can a Myoelectric Hand Help Me?

If you or someone you know has lost the use of their hands, myoelectric hands can offer a way to regain some level of independence. Myoelectric hands are prosthetic devices controlled by the user’s muscle movements.

There are several different myoelectric hand designs on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The type of myoelectric hand that is best for a particular individual will depend on a number of factors, including the individual’s level of mobility and dexterity.

Myoelectric hands can be very expensive, but they offer a number of advantages over traditional prosthetic devices. For example, myoelectric hands are much more natural-looking and feeling, and they provide a greater range of motion and functionality.

If you are considering a myoelectric hand, it is important to consult a qualified prosthetist to discuss your options and find the right device for you.

How Does a Myoelectric Hand Work?

A myoelectric hand is a type of prosthetic hand that uses electrical signals from the muscles to control the movement of the fingers. The technology behind myoelectric prosthetics has come a long way in recent years, and these devices can now provide a high level of functionality for users.

There are a few different types of myoelectric hands on the market, but they all work in basically the same way. Sensors are placed on the skin over the muscles, and these sensors pick up the electrical signals generated by the muscles. These signals are then processed by a computer, which translates them into commands for the hand.

The level of functionality a myoelectric hand provides depends on the number of sensors and the signal processing quality. Some myoelectric hands can provide a very natural level of control, while others may be more limited.

The technology behind myoelectric prosthetics is constantly improving, and new devices are constantly being developed. Myoelectric hands can now provide a very high level of functionality, and the future looks bright for this type of prosthetic. Instead of merely a single holding position, myoelectric hands are now capable of more positions, allowing for a lot more independence and functionality.

What Is the I-Limb Hand?

The I-limb hand is a prosthetic that was invented by David Gow and his team and developed by Touch Bionics in Edinburgh, Scotland. I-Limb is also the world’s first commercially available prosthetic hand. It is a myoelectric prosthetic hand, based on the human anatomy. It is made of plastic and carbon fiber and is attached to the arm with a harness.

This is a revolutionary prosthetic hand that allows amputees to feel and control their artificial hand as if it was their real hand. The I-limb uses sensors to capture subtle changes in muscle movements and sends signals to the hand so the wearer can control their hand by using a muscle that is still left on their arm.

How Has I-Limb Revolutionized the Prosthetics Industry?

The I-limb is the first artificial hand to have five individually powered digits. Besides this, the I-limb is the first hand to have a thumb that has been designed to function in a natural way. The other four digits move very much as a real hand would. The oval opening at the base of each digit is designed to give maximum flexibility.

The thumb is smooth and flexible to permit a natural grip. The elbow joint of the I-limb is more functional than any other prosthetic arm. The I-limb is one of the world’s most advanced prosthetic hands and allows amputees to grip and perform activities with the same ease and power that you would find in a regular hand. 

What Are the Key Benefits of Myoelectric Hands (I-Limb)?

There are many benefits to using myoelectric hands, but here are the seven biggest benefits:

1. Increased Independence

Myoelectric hands can help increase independence for users by providing them with the ability to perform activities of daily living and work tasks that they may not be able to do with their residual limb.

2. Improved Grasp

Myoelectric hands can improve grasp and dexterity, allowing users to perform tasks requiring delicate finger movements, such as tying shoelaces or writing.

3. Reduced Fatigue

Myoelectric hands can help reduce fatigue by distributing the weight of the hand more evenly across the forearm. This can help reduce fatigue and improve comfort for users.

4. Improved Cosmesis

Myoelectric hands can provide improved cosmesis or the appearance of the hand. This can be beneficial for users who are self-conscious about their appearance post-amputation.

5. Reduced Risk of Infection

Myoelectric hands are less likely to develop infections due to the reduced number of crevices and areas where bacteria can grow, causing further infection at the site.

6. Increased Comfort

Myoelectric hands are generally more comfortable to wear than traditional prosthetic hands, as they fit more snugly and are less likely to cause chafing or skin rashes.

7. Increased Satisfaction

In general, users report higher levels of satisfaction with myoelectric hands than with body-powered hands. This is likely due to the increased functionality and independence that myoelectric hands can provide.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Myoelectric Hands?

There are a few things to consider when determining whether or not myoelectric hands are a good option for you:

  • Degree of Muscular Control: First and foremost, you need to have some degree of muscular control in your arms in order to use them effectively. If you don’t have this control, then myoelectric hands may not be the best option.
  • Lifestyle: Another thing to consider is your lifestyle. If you lead a very active lifestyle, you may want to consider another option, as myoelectric hands require some care and maintenance. However, if you are willing to take care of them, myoelectric hands can be a great option.
  • Overall, Health: The third factor to consider is your overall health. People who are in good health are good candidates for myoelectric hands. People who have health conditions that affect their hands, such as arthritis, may not be good candidates for myoelectric hands.
  • Budget: Finally, you need to consider your budget. Myoelectric hands are a more expensive option, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider another option.

Overall, there are a few things to consider when determining whether or not myoelectric hands are a good option for you. If you have muscular control and are willing to take care of them, they can be a great option. However, if you’re on a tight budget or lead a very active lifestyle, you may want to consider another option.

Technology at Your Fingertips

Myoelectric hands are technologically advanced prosthetic devices that can provide a high level of functionality for people with upper-limb amputations. These devices use sensors to detect muscle signals in the residual limb, which are then used to control the movement of the artificial hand. The technology behind myoelectric hands is changing the lives of many people who have lost their hands. This type of hand can give wearers the ability to perform everyday tasks and even help to regain independence.

Fit Prosthetics is dedicated to providing the highest quality, cost-effective prosthetic care possible. We are committed to helping our patients appreciate and maximize their mobility potential. It is our goal that each patient has the opportunity to return to work and active lifestyles by maximizing their potential. Contact us today to learn more!

Why Is 3D Scanning Important for a Proper Prosthesis Fit?

Prosthetic limbs can play an important role in the rehabilitation process for people who have lost an arm, leg, or other extremities as a result of amputation. They not only help improve mobility, but they also empower amputees to stay independent and navigate their day-to-day lives easier. 

As such, prostheses are generally custom fit to the exact shape and size of a patient’s limb to ensure maximum comfort and functionality. Fortunately, advancements in medical technology, like 3D scanning, have made the prostheses fitting process easier and more accurate.

With 3D scanning, we have the potential to create three-dimensional visualization of any product without even a millimeter out of shape. This means that patients can now have their prostheses customized using high-resolution images that provide more detailed information than ever before. This not only helps make sure that the limb fits properly—which makes it easier to use and improves comfort—but also allows for adjustments to be made as often as necessary throughout the life of a prosthetic limb.

Keep reading to learn more about 3D scanning and how it can help with the prosthesis fitting process.

What Is 3D Scanning?

3D scanning, also known as photogrammetry, is now becoming increasingly popular in the medical field for its use in prosthesis fitting. Instead of having a technician custom-tailor a prosthetic over a week, 3D scanning can get all the complex work done in just 15 minutes, and the resulting scan can be 3D printed in almost no time. Moreover, 3D-printed prosthetic limbs are more affordable and can even be customized to the most minute details, including the patient’s skin tone. 

How Can 3D Scanning Help with Prosthesis Fitting?

Before the early 1990s, plaster of Paris was used to capture the exact shape and size of the limb to create a prosthesis. This process is often referred to as shape capture. The plaster of Paris was poured into a mold, then modified with various sculpting tools to achieve the final shape before wet lamination or thermoforming. Later, as technology evolved, digital fabrication transformed how prosthesis fitting was done, and now shape capture happens with the help of computers.

CNC carving of foam, plaster molds, or 3D printing are all examples of digital fabrication. 3D scanning is now becoming one of the most preferred ways of getting fitted for a new prosthesis. This is because it is a more accurate way of measuring and creating a custom socket for your prosthetic limb, ensuring better fit and comfort. 

The quality of the measurements from 3D scanning provides more information about where the parts should be placed in relation to each other, helping them form a tight fit around your limb. This will help you minimize the pain and discomfort that would otherwise be caused by poorly fitting prosthetic components or uneven pressure points on the body.

3D scanners can also be used to make temporary or permanent prostheses that have been fitted using 3D scan data as opposed to traditional methods like physical measurement or handcrafting. This also allows for greater customization since prostheses can be made in all sizes without having to compromise on style or comfort. 

Additionally, since 3D scanners can capture details, such as pores on the skin, and at high resolutions, they can help create more realistic models than those created with photographs alone. These devices have no limitations when it comes to materials and can work with virtually any material. 

The 3D Scanning Process for Upper Extremities

3D scanning is a process that uses a specialized device to take digital images of an object, person, or space. The scanner captures data points on the surface of the object and then uses a computer program to combine these data points into a 3-dimensional image. When this principle is applied to prosthesis fitting and design, the results we get are more accurate and ensure better fit and comfort for the patient. 

When it comes to prosthesis fitting for upper limbs, the process begins with identifying the patient’s needs through an initial interview about their lifestyle, hobbies, and activities, as well as any challenges they face with their current prosthesis fit. 

After this assessment, there will be follow-up appointments to take measurements. 

Step 1: The technician will pay attention to the shape of the residual limb before scanning. 

Step 2: They will make sure that the fingers are spread evenly, and the wrist is properly positioned. If the fingers are placed too wide, or the wrist is titled at an unnatural angle, it can negatively affect the 3D scanning image quality.

Step 3: If it is a partial hand, wrist, or above wrist amputation or wrist disarticulation, they will use a blue tack to mark the side with the palm before the scan.

Step 4: Then, they will take a photo of the residual limb with blue tack and send it together with the STL file.

Step 5: The prosthetic experts at Fit Prosthetics will get a clear visualization of the blue tack mark on the cast to represent the palm. Also, it’s best to scan the forearm at least 70 mm from the wrist position. This will give us more data for the trail fabrication.

Step 6: If the residual limb has no obvious wrist position, the technician will use a blue tack to mark three dots on the wrist area to represent the palm and wrist position.

Step 7: If the residual limb has sensitive spots, place blue tack on the center of the sensitive spot and mark the size of the sensitive site on the photo when we print out the 3D cast. We can compare the cast against the picture; then, we can locate the accurate position and estimate the actual size of the sensitive spot.

The 3D Scanning Process for Lower Extremities

The 3D scanning process for the lower extremities is similar to the one for the upper extremities. The process begins with the patient having their foot or ankle flexed, which helps create a more accurate representation of the limb as it would be in everyday use. Once this step has been completed, a scanner will be placed over the patient’s limb and rotated around it at different angles. This allows for both topographical data and surface measurements to be collected without any additional invasive techniques being used on the patient’s body.

Once all of this information has been collected by your 3D scanner, you’ll need to process it so that you can create a prosthesis model based on these measurements.

The Benefits of Using 3D Scanning for Prosthesis Fitting

Helps Create a Pressure Map

3D scanning can create artificial limbs more efficiently. When you stand upright, there are certain pressure points in your feet. Insoles are shaped based on these points. 3D scanning makes it easy to extract the patient’s pressure map.

More Accurate

With 3D scanning, casting accuracy is enhanced. This technology doesn’t miss out even on a millimeter. As a result of 3D scanning’s accuracy, medical professionals can eliminate errors while taking measurements and creating pressure maps. They can also speed up the prosthesis designing process without compromising on quality

Improved Comfort

A 3D-printed prosthetic limb will be more stable and durable, which means you can wear it longer without pain or discomfort. It will also be easier on your skin since the prosthetic device won’t run or rub against your skin as much. The result is that you’ll feel better in general while wearing your artificial limb if it’s fitted properly and doesn’t interfere with your daily activities.


Digitizing the fitting process can also save time and reduce overall costs. For example, when using a physical mold, you must also take into consideration the time and money involved in shipping the mold to labs and manufacturing facilities. On the other hand, 3D scanning allows medical professionals to treat many patients at once with greater precision, speeding up the process and helping you save money and time by minimizing the need for corrections. 

3D scanning is a new and exciting technology that is helping to transform the field of prosthesis fitting. With this technique, patients can get a more accurate fit in less time with fewer visits than traditional methods. Contact the Fit Prosthetics team in Salt Lake City, Utah, to learn more about 3D scanning and prosthesis fitting. 

What Are 3D Printed Prosthetics?

One of the numerous ways that technology has helped the field of medicine is through 3D-printed prosthetics. People with physical disabilities, kids, the entertainment industry, and many other areas have benefited from 3D printing in prosthetics. Printing human organs and drugs are just two examples of the innovations in the realm of medicine that have been made possible by 3D printing, but prosthetic limbs have possibly been the most commercially successful so far.

What Are 3D Printed Prosthetics?

A prosthesis is an artificial device that substitutes a missing body part. This missing body part may have been lost due to an accident, illness, or congenital disability. Prosthetics are a perfect application for 3D printing since they are frequently constructed of plastic and need to be customized for each patient. Although 2D graphics are helpful, they don’t reflect a real human part and offer little imagery. On the other hand, 3D printing produces replicas that resemble and appear like real human body parts.

They are highly tailored and made via medical 3D printing. Affordable 3D printed prosthetics are now feasible thanks to 3D printing, which represents a tiny revolution in the medical field.

Changing Lives

In addition to being cost-effective for even developing nations, 3D printers enable anyone to create and print unique parts with the use of some simple equipment. This facilitates the creation of prosthetics that are individually fitted. Today, artificial limbs made using 3D printing can be tailored to any degree of amputation or be task-specific, allowing for various prosthetics for work, sports, and other activities. High resistance, durability, and quick development and manufacturing are additional benefits. Prosthetic devices are intended to emulate the functions of a missing human limb as closely as feasible, changing millions of lives. Prosthetic devices have affected millions of people’s lives and aim to precisely replicate the functions of a missing human limb.

3D Printed Prosthetics—The Modern Day Solution

A 3D scanner can complete all complex work in just 15 minutes, and the resulting scan may be sent across the world to be 3D printed or analyzed in seconds rather than taking a technician a week to custom-tailor a prosthetic. Additionally, 3D-printed prosthetics are now easily affordable and come in a variety of hues, including those that may be customized to the patient’s skin tone.

Once the prosthetic’s 3D design has been customized, the STL files can be kept indefinitely. This implies that you can go back to the file and scale it up for them if you fit a five-year-old with a 3D printed arm prosthetic and he outgrows it. In a real sense, 3D printed prosthetics develop with you. This makes children’s 3D-printed prosthetics the ideal solution.

Benefits of 3D Printed Prosthetics

1)   Innovation

 Be creative without being constrained by current manufacturing methods. Rapid prototyping has never been so simple, thanks to 3D printers. Use this technology to iterate your ideas and projects more quickly. Great future improvements will be made possible by going beyond conventional prosthesis manufacture.

2)   Personalization

The most crucial argument, in this case, is the one about customization. By receiving adaptive equipment and prosthetics, the patients will benefit and have a better quality of life in the event of limb loss. Thanks to 3D printers, it is now possible to create customizable functional prostheses.

3)   Affordability

The majority of kids consider it normal to hold a pen or swing a tennis bat. That simple action could seem like a giant leap for kids with congenital impairments who are missing a hand or several fingers. Many families are left without options since traditional prosthetic limbs are pricey and quickly outgrow their bodies.

It is undeniable that, thanks to the advancement of 3D printing in prosthetics, even the most ordinary person can now undergo a prosthetic operation. Those who needed the services would be concerned about the cost because the old form of prosthesis surgery was pricey. With the advent of 3D printing, a less expensive option exists. The CAD designs are relatively simple to change, and 3D printing is a very affordable production method.

Any traditional prosthetic has a lifespan of roughly five years. Children require prosthetics considerably more frequently due to their rapid growth. This will be extremely expensive for the families and will significantly strain them. Children’s prosthetic devices may now be produced more easily and more affordably thanks to 3D printing. Thus, getting prosthetics for your children is no longer a complex chore.

4)   Comfort

Another crucial element that must be taken into account in this situation is comfort. The wearers of standard prosthetics do not find them to be the most comfortable. A majority of amputees have expressed discomfort when using conventional prosthetic limbs. On the other hand, 3D printing assists in delivering the ideal solution by utilizing CAD services as well as the wearer’s anatomical data. The designers can develop a socket specifically for the prosthetic that will fit precisely. Using multi-material 3D printing techniques also makes prosthetics more comfortable. This aids in the creation of more organic sockets that better meld with the human body.

5)   Speed

When addressing the use of 3D printing in prosthetics, speed is another crucial element that must be taken into account. Compared to conventional methods, prosthetics can be produced quickly using 3D printing. The production of conventional prosthetics takes weeks or even months. Therefore, those who want prosthetic surgery would have to wait patiently for their number to be called on the waiting list. Thanks to the development of 3D printing, this has changed.

3D Printed Prosthetics: The Future

Given the benefits outlined above, it is impossible to deny that 3D printing has taken a significant role in the prosthetics sector. The best part about this is that technology isn’t static. It is constantly changing as new discoveries are made and the current techniques are enhanced by cutting-edge ones. What can we anticipate in terms of 3D-printed prosthetics in the future?

1)   New Technologies

Bionic propulsion systems, computers that anticipate the user’s actions, and other advances are giving traditional prosthetics a modern look. These innovative technologies will eventually find their way into 3D printed prosthetics, giving patients access to these advancements and allowing them to experience better mobility and more control over their lives.

2)   More Personalized Designs

Prosthetics created via 3D printing are not at all hideous. In fact, many modern items may be found in a variety of tones that appeal to children, and some can even be customized to the wearer’s skin tone, which frequently appeals to adults.

However, it is true that technological advancements will make prosthetics even more aesthetically pleasing. In order to avoid making the users stand out from the crowd and feel self-conscious, they might be manufactured to look exactly like actual limbs. Additionally, they can be embellished with creative patterns, and accident victims can recover by using a prosthesis that contains rich artwork.

Final Words

The quality of life for individuals will continue to improve thanks to 3D printing applications in medicine. It is certain that 3D printers will ultimately play a crucial role in a majority of medical procedures in the future.

Customized prosthesis designs are already being developed for 3D printing. It might become standard in the upcoming years. While pre-made patterns are fantastic, the opportunity to make unique items opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Fit Prosthetics

We are revolutionizing the way prosthetics are made at FitProsthetics near Salt Lake City, Utah! By providing the highest caliber of prosthetic care, we first restore and enhance patients’ mobility while assisting them in achieving their objectives. We are committed to your success, and we will offer you comprehensive, seamless service that helps with every aspect of your recovery.

Contact our office to make an appointment by phone or text, and we’ll schedule a time that works best for you. If you need immediate assistance, please call us at (801) 912-0500.

What To Consider When Choosing A New Prosthesis

A prosthesis can play a significant role in the rehabilitation process for amputees who have lost an arm, a leg, or other extremities to amputation. The prosthetic device or the artificial limb can help improve mobility and endow the individual with the ability to conduct essential daily activities. Most importantly, it equips the individual with the means to stay independent.

What Are Prostheses?

Prostheses replace a missing body part and are a critical component of the rehabilitation process following an amputation. Prostheses help restore mobility, resulting in better amputee outcomes and lesser co-morbidities. After the amputation, amputees with prostheses experience fewer mishaps that require visits to the hospital and, consequently, lower overall medical expenses.

Prosthetics may be body-powered or controlled through microprocessors or other electronic means. Like other areas of medical care, prosthetics have leveraged technology to develop prosthetic devices that very closely mimic the function of the actual body parts that they are intended to replace.

The Many Prostheses Options

While amputees’ options in the range of prosthetic devices have increased, it has also placed an added burden on them to choose the right prosthesis carefully.

Careful deliberation in making a choice is critical since the prosthesis will be used for a long time. The prosthesis chosen needs to be pain-free during use and should enable the individual to achieve the targeted lifestyle.

There are key factors that need to be considered by an amputee when choosing a prosthetic device, and here’s what they are:

The Prostheses’ Parts and Types

There is a wide range of prostheses that are designed to look and function like an actual hand, arm, leg, or foot. Typically, the parts of these prostheses include:

●     The Socket: this is for seating the stump of the amputated limb. By necessity, the socket is an exact mold of the stump for it to fit snugly over the limb. It helps attach the prosthetic leg to the body. The socket is usually lined with foam or silicone to protect the stump. Special socks may also be worn over the stump for enhanced comfort and a better fit

●     The Suspension: this helps hold the prosthesis onto the stump. The holding action could be sleeve suction, vacuum suction, or distal locking through a pin or lanyard

●     The Pylon: this part of the prosthesis mimics the bone that the prosthesis replaces, and ensures strength and stability for the prosthesis

●     The Foot, Hand, or Hook: depending on the type of prosthetic, this is the business end of the prosthetic that will receive the most wear and tear. There are several types of prostheses that range in the functionality of this part and can provide different uses depending on what is required of the limb

●     The Cosmetic Covering: a covering that provides a cosmetic appearance to help the prosthetic blend in/be less noticeable to the naked eye

Additionally, as would be fairly obvious, the factors to be considered while choosing a prosthesis also include the location and level of the amputation, the condition of the remaining stump, and the desired level of physical activity and functionality. Also, the upper and lower prosthetic limbs have different care needs. Lower limbs experience higher stress levels and are difficult to stand on compared to the upper limbs. This is also, therefore, another key factor to consider when choosing a prosthetic.  

What is the Priority – Form or Function?

What individuals desire from their prostheses varies. Some desire to revert to their original level of physical activity, while some may settle for only the basic functionality and replicating the original limb’s natural look. Depending on the level and type of activity aimed for, the choice of prosthetic will also differ. It is also possible to not choose between form and function and instead have multiple prosthetics for different activities.

The Nature of Targeted Activities

The most critical factor in the choice of the prosthetic device is the range of physical activities targeted. The daily activities, both at work and home, that the amputee needs to perform and recreational physical activities such as walking, running, playing, etc. affect the choice of prosthetic.

Prosthetics are classified based on the level of activity the amputee is likely to engage in. The classification called the K-Level ranges from K-0 to K-4. Each level indicates the lifestyle of the amputee.

The Cost

There is a wide variation in the quality of available prosthetics, and hence there is also a wide variation in the cost of the prosthetics. For example, an advanced prosthesis such as an artificial bionic limb designed for a high frequency of usage costs many times more than a mechanical limb. Some insurance providers cover the cost of the prosthetics, and some do not.

The Expected Benefits from a Prosthesis

While most people benefit from the prosthesis, some do not. Factors to be considered and discussed with the doctor by the amputee include:

●     The extent of available soft tissue to cushion the remaining bone

●     The extent of pain being experienced

●     The condition of the skin on the stump

●     The residual range of motion in the amputated limb

●     The health of the other limbs

●     Previous and desired activity levels

●     The amputee’s mobility goals

The reason behind the amputation, the amputee’s physical health, and lifestyle are also important factors. For example, an amputee who had a sedentary lifestyle and underwent amputation due to peripheral vascular disease or diabetes will find it difficult to adapt to life with a prosthesis compared to a person with a previously active lifestyle who lost a limb in an accident. The final choice before moving forward in pursuing a prosthesis is therefore a consultative process between the amputee and a specialist medical professional.

Climatic Conditions

It is essential to also consider the climatic conditions of the place where the prosthesis is intended to be used. The weather impacts both the prosthetic and the stump. The efficacy of the prosthetic is affected by dry weather, humidity, and cold. Dry skin can cause friction and chafe as well. Humid weather causes excessive perspiration and discomfort. Dust in the prosthetic joints results in abrasion and damage, and saltwater leads to corrosion.

Wearing Schedule

Getting used to wearing a prosthetic takes time and effort. After the initial fitting of the prosthetic, many iterations in the fit are made to achieve the exact fit. A prosthetist works with the amputee on the wearing schedule to make the individual comfortable using the prosthesis with a minimum amount of wear-time. The wear time is gradually increased until the amputee becomes comfortable. The wearing schedule is, therefore, a key factor in the choice of the prosthetic.

Changing Needs

As the residual limb stabilizes, it might become necessary to transition to a new prosthesis. Initially, the amputee might need to choose a temporary prosthesis and then switch to one intended for long-term use. New pain, discomfort, lack of stability, etc. may also make it necessary to change the prosthesis. Ordinarily, prostheses need to be changed every three to five years and require the user to take some time to get used to, which is another factor to be considered when choosing the right prosthesis.

The Rehabilitation Process

The process of rehabilitation is inherently collaborative and ongoing. The amputee will need to learn to use the prosthesis and work on strengthening the limbs and the cardiovascular system. It is important to keep healthy limbs in good physical condition.

Getting used to a prosthesis can be tricky. The most common difficulties include:

●     Excessive sweating that degrades the fit of the prosthesis and also causes skin problems

●     Changing the shape of the stump. Typically, this continues for the first year after the amputation before the stump settles into a final shape. This can affect the fit of the socket

●     Weakness of the residual limb may restrict the prosthesis use for long durations

●     Phantom limb pain can also limit the use of the prosthesis

The Reliability of the Manufacturer

Finding a reputable manufacturer/supplier of good-quality prostheses is also important. A good supplier will work with an amputee’s prosthetist to provide the best fit to enable the amputee to achieve the desired lifestyle.

Is a Prosthesis Right for You?

Several factors determine prosthesis choice. This indicates that preferences among amputees vary significantly. User participation in the selection process greatly influences the successful match between the user and the prosthesis, leading to a decrease in abandonment and an increase in cost-effectiveness.

Interested in pursuing a prosthesis? Reach out to us at FIT Prosthetics to learn more about the range of prostheses and more! Our skilled and compassionate staff will be there to help find the perfect prosthetic for your particular needs, so contact us today.

Travel Tips for Amputees

Traveling is an amazing experience that has the potential to transform your life. However, it is impossible to deny that planning a holiday trip can be quite stressful—especially for amputees. Fortunately, with prior research and some smart planning, you can minimize travel stress and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.

Keep reading to see FIT Prosthetic’s list of useful traveling tips and hacks for amputees so you can make the most out of your dream vacation.

Great Planning Leads to Great Trips

When traveling with a prosthesis, it is important to research and plan ahead for a smooth and enjoyable vacation. Your travel destination might not necessarily be as accessible (or inaccessible) as your hometown. So, find out as much as possible about the places you plan to visit before buying the ticket.

Look for accessible, amputee-friendly facilities near your destination. Call ahead to enquire about elevators, wheelchair accessibility, and other concerns you might have before choosing a hotel or visiting a tourist attraction. Thorough research will allow you to avoid frustration and disappointing situations.

There are several disability-friendly tourist destinations around the world. You can also avail the help of special needs travel agencies to organize the perfect trip. If you’re nervous about traveling for the first time post-amputation, choose American tourist destinations where the Americans with Disabilities Act is most likely to apply.

Try to find a disability-friendly hotel. When booking your hotel room, get as many details as possible—especially if you require a wheelchair-accessible room. Since elevators can sometimes shut down during emergencies, ask for a room that is on or close to the first floor. Finally, request to see the room before checking in to confirm that it is what you expected. You can also use apps like iAccessLife to find out how accessible the hotel was for other adaptive needs travelers.

Additionally, several online apps such as Flush and RoadTrippers can help take the stress out of traveling with a prosthesis.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Good planning doesn’t just end with choosing the right destination and finding amputee-friendly hotel accommodations and tourist spots. You need to have a plan in place for every scenario you can think of—even the worst-case ones.

Check Your Prosthetics Before Departure Day

Before departing on the trip, make sure that all the components of your prosthetic limbs are working as they should be. Examine them closely for cracks, tears in the liners, loose parts, and strange sounds. If you find any of these warning signs, get them fixed immediately so you can avoid the hassle of a broken or wobbly prosthetic limb while you’re out camping in the wilderness.

Pack Extras

You can always rely on secondary mobility aids if your prosthesis breaks. Duct tapes and super glue can help a lot when it comes to broken prosthetic limbs so make sure to always keep them handy.

Airlines can at times lose luggage. Make sure to add necessary spare parts in your carry-on bag to avoid running into trouble with your prosthesis. This includes:

●      Extra Prosthetic Socks

●      Small Tool Kit with Screwdriver and 4mm Allen Key

●      Extra Socket Liner

●      Donning Sleeves

●      Shrinkers

●      4mm Allen Key

●      Extra Sealing Sleeves

●      Spare Prosthic Screws

●      Chargers or Batteries

Bags containing medical devices are free of cost, so airlines can’t charge you extra for a bag carrying prosthetic parts or supplies. Remember, this exclusively applies to bags carrying only medical devices. Don’t forget to carry plastic bags to cover prosthetic limbs when near sand or water.

Save Important Phone Numbers

Before you leave for the trip, find and save the names and phone numbers of prosthetists and hospitals in the area where you’re vacationing. This way, you will know who to call and where to go if something happens to your prosthesis.

Smart Packing

You need to pack with the weather in mind. If you’re traveling to a warm and humid place, perspiration can cause abrasions on your stump. Remember to carry antiperspirant sprays and body powder to keep your stump dry.

On the other hand, if you have a prosthetic leg and are traveling to someplace cold, make sure you wear rubber-soled sneakers, winter boots, or cleats that fit your prosthesis comfortably. If you find the terrain difficult to navigate, don’t hesitate to use canes, walkers, and crutches.

Don’t forget to bring skin lotions and antibiotic ointments to protect your stump from sores. You also need to keep hygiene in mind. Use a cleanser to wipe your prosthesis’ sockets, liners, and suspensions sleeves to keep them free from dry sweat and bacteria. Talk to your doctor to ensure you find a cleanser that suits your prosthetic limbs’ material.

Research Baggage Rules

Though luggage policies vary from country to country, most airports allow you to check in medical bags at no extra cost. If you have a disability or medical condition, the TSA allows all prescription and over-the-counter medications, life-supporting devices, and mobility aids if declared. Medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols are also exempt from the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Inform your TSA office if you want your liquid medications opened or screened by X-ray. A declaration can be given verbally, in writing, or by a companion, caregiver, interpreter, or family member.

Some airlines may have weight restrictions on wheelchairs—make sure to check ahead for them. If you’re a wheelchair user, you may need to alert the airlines before departure day. This allows the staff to provide you with the level of assistance you require. Airport escorts are there to get you to the terminal on time, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of their services.

Navigating Airport Security—What to Expect

Airport security is usually the most disliked part of traveling for most people. The ion scanners and intrusive agents can make the experience even more daunting for people with prostheses. Planning and preparing in advance can help you get through the situation without any hitches.

Get to the airport as early as possible. It is better to get to your gate with time to spare than get delayed and miss your flight because of security delays.

First, know that you are under no obligation to remove your prosthetic limbs during your TSA screening. You just need to inform your TSA office beforehand that you have a prosthetic device. As part of the screening process, security officers may need to see and touch your prosthesis, cast, or support brace.

Your TSA officer will probably perform additional screening if your prosthesis sets off the metal detector alarm. They may also ask you to do a self pat-down of the area. Wear comfortable, loose clothing and slippers, so it is easy to show your prosthesis when required. Canes, wheelchairs, and crutches will be sent through the x-ray line and be swab tested for explosives.

You can ask for a private screening at any point during the screening of your prosthesis. You can also have a companion, assistant, or family member accompany you into the private screening area after they’ve been screened. You don’t have to display the belt holding your prosthetic limb in place if you don’t want to.

However, you are also free to refuse any offer of a private screening. The screening will still have to be conducted publicly if you want to cross the screening checkpoint. If you find it difficult to stand for the hand-held metal detector test, you can request to sit down after walking through the metal detector. Please notify the TSA officer of any assistance you may require during the security check.

In case the TSA officer questions your disability, it is advisable to carry a letter from your doctor confirming your need for a prosthesis.

Prioritize Your Comfort when Traveling

Ask for Wheelchair Assistance

Airports can be exhausting to navigate, even for non-disabled people. It can be even more exhausting as an amputee when you have to connect flights at a large airport. Don’t hesitate to ask for wheelchair assistance in this situation. Not only will it save you from the strenuous walk, but it will also get you to the front of the line at customs.

Request Bulkhead Seating

Talk to your flight attendant before boarding. This allows you to ask for bulkhead or aisle seating and inform them of any other assistance you may need. Bulkhead seating refers to the front row seats that face a wall. If they are not available, ask for an aisle seat close to the front of the plane.

Take Breaks from Sitting

Sitting for hours can cause the stump to swell, making it difficult to get your prosthetic limb on at the end of the flight. Standing up and walking down the aisle can help reduce the swelling. If you prefer taking off the prosthesis while flying, wear a prosthetic shrinker to control the swelling.

Consider Alternate Forms of Transportation

Sometimes traveling by train or bus can be preferable to flying. There are several alternative disability-friendly transportation options like Amtrak and the Greyhound Line.

Amidst all the planning and preparation, don’t forget the most important part of your vacation—having fun! Being an amputee shouldn’t stop you from living the life you want. At FIT Prosthetics, we offer a wide range of services to improve your quality of life. Contact us today to see how we can get the best prosthesis for you!

What you should know about Diabetic Limb Loss

Diabetes is a condition in which your body cannot produce the insulin that’s needed to moderate your blood glucose levels. When you begin to experience a disruption in your natural metabolism of carbohydrates, your body begins to have increased levels of glucose in both the urine and the blood, thus resulting in diabetes.

Unfortunately, you won’t always feel any symptoms of diabetes, at least not right away. It’s vital to see your physician every year to get blood work done and have your glucose levels checked. If left untreated, diabetes can cause a wide variety of additional health concerns, including kidney damage, heart disease, nerve damage, and limb loss. Read on to learn more about the link between diabetes and limb loss.

The Effects of Diabetes on Your Limbs

One of the most serious complications caused by diabetes is referred to as diabetic limb loss, which is something that can happen as your condition worsens over time. Approximately five out of every 1,000 individuals suffering from diabetes will require a lower extremity amputation, per a 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

Fortunately, there are options that can be customized to fit your lifestyle following an amputation. InMotion Prosthetics has the latest in prosthetic limbs tailored to suit a variety of lifestyles. There are many styles you can choose from.

But first, let’s explore why diabetic limb loss happens and what symptoms to look out for. Keeping yourself in the loop is the first step in limb loss prevention!

What Is Diabetic Limb Loss?

Diabetic limb loss occurs when your system undergoes a disruption in the flow of blood through your arteries. This is known as peripheral artery disease, or PAD. It includes a thinning of your arteries, thus limiting the amount of blood necessary for keeping your feet and legs healthy and safe from further harm.

PAD may lead to other complications such as open sores or ulcers. You might even experience infections which are serious enough to lead to gangrene. All of these physical problems are the result of a lack of blood flow to your lower limbs. This lack of blood flow can increase numbness in your limbs, making it much harder for you to feel any sensations in that area.

This is when you experience diabetic neuropathy, which involves the lack of feeling in a certain limb. This is also due to blood flow that has been seriously limited due to diabetes.

Neuropathy and its Impact on Nerve Function and Limb Loss

Neuropathy is best described as significant nerve damage which results from increased levels of sugar in your blood that destroy blood vessels. This can significantly impact your nerves and lead to that loss of feeling in the affected areas, which are typically your legs and feet.

You won’t necessarily feel any sensations such as pain or movement, which can be dangerous in some situations. If you can’t feel anything, then an injury or an ulcer may not be treated in time. That’s why it’s important to check your feet and legs for any cuts, burns, or bruises in order to prevent the possibility of gangrene and a potential amputation of the affected limb.

What to Look for When Checking Your Feet and Legs

It’s important to do an inspection of your feet and legs at least one time per day. This inspection should include looking for all cuts, big or small, plus any ulcers or other injuries. Even bruises and other abrasions should be noted when found.

There are other areas to cover when you do a daily check of your feet and legs. You should look for any toenail injuries and note anything unusual or suspicious. Blisters, calluses, and white spots should be reported immediately to your doctor. Other issues such as plantar warts and ingrown toenails also need attention. Any discoloration could be an indicator of a significant drop in blood supply.

What You Can Do to Minimize the Possibility of Limb Loss

There are preventive steps you can take to keep your limbs as healthy as possible. For instance, you can wear protective shoes to help keep your feet comfortable and safe during normal walking. These special shoes require a doctor’s prescription and can be covered by most insurance, including Medicare. They offer complete protection over your entire foot in an effort to protect them from anything that could lead to a serious injury.

Another solution is to make regular visits to see your doctor. They can help you with your questions and concerns and will even work out a continuing treatment plan for you. That plan will include working on diet, exercise, and weight loss. They may also adjust your medications as needed and show you how to check your feet for cuts, warts, and dead tissue.

If an infection does happen, there are initial steps your doctor can take other than a complete limb amputation. They can do surgery to remove old, dead, and damaged tissue or prescribe an antibiotic to ward off the infection. In some cases, a foot topical can be applied. In other cases, a special procedure known as revascularization can be done to improve circulation to that limb.

Lifestyle Changes

There are certain lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the likelihood of diabetic limb loss. One is to cut out sodas and sugars. You can also move around more and increase your daily exercise routine—a minimum of 30 minutes per day is highly recommended for best results. Regular blood pressure checks can help ensure that you have proper circulation and that there is no PAD to worry about.

Unfortunately, there are occasions when holistic measures such as diet and exercise don’t work. In instances when all other treatments have failed, limb amputation may be the final solution.

Factors Which Contribute to Diabetic Limb Loss

There are factors that may increase your risk of an amputation. One is having a family history of diabetes. That alone is enough to warrant a cause for concern and a routine trip to the doctor for blood sugar monitoring. This can help ward off any possibility of a potential lower limb amputation.

Other factors include open sores, bunions, and infections. When you have been diagnosed with diabetes, getting your legs and feet checked becomes a must. Washing your feet thoroughly can help prevent a serious infection that could lead to an amputation down the road.

What to Expect

The good news is that amputation can be done in a way that doesn’t limit your life—and that’s where FIT Prosthetics comes in.

Your operation will typically require a stay in the hospital. After the procedure, you may end up staying for a few days under observation. Vitals and blood work will be assessed, and you will need frequent wound cleansing and dressing changes.

Recovery takes time after any operation, especially an amputation. You may need weeks of ongoing support, along with intense physical therapy, just to get you back on your feet again. Our team can help support you through the prosthesis stage, fitting you with the right prosthetic limb for your specific lifestyle and needs.

Can Diabetics Wear Prosthetic Limbs?

Most people who receive an amputation due to diabetes complications will use a prosthesis. You will need to be evaluated and declared an eligible candidate for a prosthetic limb, however. The next step of being fitted for a prosthetic limb will generally happen after you’ve healed from your procedure.

Staff at FIT Prosthetics can work with patients from all walks of life, from small children to seniors. Before making the prosthesis, the patient is evaluated. Questions are asked about lifestyle, work, hobbies, and level of physical activity. This gives our team a chance to design a custom limb that’s right for you.

We offer a variety of prosthetic limbs from which to choose. We have limbs that can help you walk as if they were natural. This is thanks to special microprocessor technology that allows each limb to be specially programmed to bend, flex, and move in the most authentic way. Fingers can grip, toes can move, and dexterity is possible in every corner. But this is only the beginning.

Next, getting adjusted to your brand-new prosthesis should be your main goal. Your doctor may require physical therapy just to get you familiar with the use of your new limb. Our team at FIT PROSTHETICS can answer your questions and address your concerns as you go through the recovery and adjustment process.

If you or a loved one is dealing with diabetic limb loss, contact FIT Prosthetics in Murray, UT, to find out how we can help make the process a smoother one.

Coping With Grief After Limb Loss


Grief is a difficult and complicated emotion to untangle, and it affects each person differently. For people who’ve experienced the loss of a limb, grief is a uniquely painful process that can be very isolating. While recovery usually implies returning to normal, recovery for an amputee is something different—it means either creating or adapting to a completely new normal.

The process of physical recovery is challenging enough, but limb loss comes with emotional and mental recovery as well. A new amputee will have to adjust and adapt to several new experiences, which is why it’s important to understand your journey and where you are in it. If you are a new amputee facing the loss of a limb, know that you are not alone. In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 2 million people facing limb loss, and this number is only estimated to grow in the future.

While there is no timetable for grief, there are still ways to go through the process as healthily as possible. In this guide, we’ll go through the challenges someone with limb loss may experience while healing, both physically and emotionally, and the steps they can take to move towards a more fulfilling future

What to Expect

Becoming an amputee is never easy, and while it may not be a walk in the park, it is more than possible to live a happy and meaningful life. If you or someone you love has just experienced the loss of a limb, then you know that fear is a big part of what immediately follows. A good way to calm these fears, however, is simply to learn more about them.

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after amputation

1.   Before Surgery

In the preoperative stage, you will probably spend a lot of time with your rehabilitation team who will work to prepare you for the surgery, and supply you with a rehabilitation plan for after. It is recommended that you choose a Prosthetist before your surgery, so they can help understand your needs and wants, and assist you as you adapt to your prosthetic limb.

2.   During Surgery

Although you will be asleep during the surgery, some people find it comforting to know what is happening during it. The surgeon will ensure to leave as much healthy tissue as possible and will smooth out the remaining bone, which allows tissue and muscles to cover it

3.   After Surgery

For new amputees, this will probably be the hardest part. Your wound will be dressed, and you may have to wear compression socks. Your residual limb will also likely be elevated to help reduce swelling—which is vital during this time—and will also help when fitting a prosthetic limb later on.

You may be bedridden initially since you will have to keep your wound stable, but rehabilitation can typically begin within a few days post-surgery. In the beginning, you may only have to do gentle stretches to maintain your range of motion and prevent blood clots from forming

4.   Healing

Healing for an amputee is a lot more than just physical healing—it can take a long time to adjust to a new way of living, and it can take a lot to accept that you have to do it in the first place.

Apart from rehabilitation, you may also have to worry about the risk of complications and relearning how to do things that were once second nature. Even with a support system, it can be a difficult and lonely experience, which is why it’s important to learn about the different techniques and strategies you can use to cope

How to Cope with Limb Loss

Recovery is an ongoing process that will present many challenges. These are some of the challenges most new amputees face on their journey to recovery, and how they can cope with them.

Adjusting to a New Life

Even if you lived a highly independent life before your amputation, you will have to be dependent on others, at least for a while. In time, you will learn how to perform your daily activities in a new way and slowly regain your independence.

Having to readjust to life can make people feel helpless and like they’ve lost control. It’s important at this moment for amputees to take stock of what they can and cannot do alone and communicate it to those around them. It is normal to face severe emotional turbulence at this point, but you don’t have to suffer alone

Facing a New Body Image

The way we perceive ourselves and our bodies can have a huge impact on our self-worth. Especially in the case of the loss of a limb, it can represent feelings of being less than whole or losing functionality.

Remember to be kind to yourself, as much as you can. Focus on the positive aspects that are unrelated to your body image. Maybe even challenge yourself to do something new that you didn’t before

Physical Recovery

Amputation can leave people with a lot of long and short-term physical effects. Even apart from the residual pain, you may even experience sensations of a phantom limb, which can make recovery even more difficult. Being in pain affects people physically, mentally, and emotionally—so, make sure to talk to your rehabilitation team if your pain is affecting you in ways you cannot handle.

Mental Recovery

It’s natural to feel lost and hopeless after going through something as life-changing as the amputation of a limb. Remember that it is okay to grieve what you have lost. In time, you may find that life isn’t hopeless after all. Prosthetics offer a lot of people a chance to live their lives as they want by reducing pain and depression, so they don’t have to worry about missing out

Emotional Support for Amputees

The psychological effect of an amputation can wreak havoc on your emotions, with grief being one of the strongest. That is why it’s important to monitor your mental health after an amputation since many new amputees become susceptible to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. These feelings can be strongest in the months immediately following the amputation, but they can reduce in the years to come.

Negative thoughts will be common, and they can range from temporary sadness to suicidal ideation. If you are suffering from these feelings or any disorders it’s important to communicate with your rehabilitation team, so they can help you constructively deal with them

If you are experiencing signs of depression, PTSD, or other mental disorders, reach out to those around you. Asking for help can be hard, but don’t let limb loss isolate you from those around you. Peer counselors, psychologists, family, and friends can help make a difficult journey less stressful. So, even if it’s hard, ask for help. Remember that you are more than the things that happen to you, and you deserve to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Steps to Manage Grief after Limb Loss

It takes time to process everything you experience before, during, and after an amputation. However, there are various positive strategies you can use to cope, including

●      Acknowledging your feelings. Some people might experience feelings of anger, denial, or depression while grieving their loss. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and give them the space to be felt. You could even try writing or making art during this time, so you can express these feelings in a positive and healthy way

●      Reaching out. If your feelings start to get too overwhelming, or you find that they are getting worse instead of better, reach out to your rehabilitation team or mental health professional. The period right after an amputation is a vulnerable one, so remember to be kind to yourself and get the help you need.

●      Trusting the process. Grieving is normal, but is still a highly personal process. Grief looks different for different people, so if you find that your journey isn’t going the way you want it to, that’s okay. You may find that the coping mechanisms for others don’t work for you, or that your process takes longer. All of this is completely normal. Your grief is yours—what works for you won’t work for others, and vice versa.

●      Connecting with others. Although you might feel alone, you are actually one of 185,000 people who experience amputations every year, who are facing grief just as you are. Knowing that you aren’t alone can make a huge difference in how healthily you process your emotions. Find a support group where you can listen to others and express your own voice

●      Embracing optimism. Many amputees look for spiritual meaning after experiencing limb loss, while others don’t want an explanation, and instead want to settle into their new lives. There’s no right answer to how you should progress after an amputation, but having a positive attitude and focusing on the future can do wonders for your healing.

Coping with limb loss is challenging, but one of the ways you can recover faster is with a well-fitted prosthetic. FIT Prosthetics, we pride ourselves on helping you achieve seamless rehabilitation. To learn more, contact us today.