The first time walking with a prosthetic leg – Vasco’s goosebump moment
Vasco: “Hello! I come from Portugal and my goosebump moment was watching my friend walk for the ”first” time. I need to explain that a bit. So, my friend got into an accident, a very bad one. I was little, I was a bit traumatized, and I still remember the panic that I felt! It was very hard for me to comprehend how someone can lose their leg and how their lives still continue. But I was still little when she got her prosthetic leg. It was something so amazing for me, like she could still play with me. She could still live her normal life and do the things she liked to do. It was amazing for me, it was one of the best moments of my life. It’s been a pleasure talking to you guys! Bye bye!”
The dream of walking again
For those who have suffered an amputation, thinking about their first prosthesis is an exciting process, because it represents an essential step to regain a normal life after surgery.
Being able to take those first steps, without complications or pain, is a great inspiration and happiness for both patients and their families, because thanks to this tool they can improve their quality of life and resume their daily activities, from dancing to swimming and cycling. Undoubtedly, it is a moment that gives more than one person goosebumps because despite the adversities, there is always hope.
Prosthesis, a hope
Losing a limb is one of the most devastating events in a person’s life. Recovering from it is a process whereby each patient has a different rhythm and different support systems.
Fortunately, the prosthetics industry worldwide works tirelessly to be able to offer the necessary solutions, so that more people with disabilities can perform all kinds of activities without restrictions. They not only make life easier for people who have lost a limb, they also allow the paralysed to walk again and even babies with incurable diseases to survive into adulthood.
With the latest and improved smart prosthetics, those that incorporate microprocessors that emulate the functionality of the knees, ankles and feet, some amputees have been able to practice their favorite sport again, or even climb or dance more naturally and avoid stiffness characteristic of these prostheses.
Although prosthetics have been around for thousands of years at the hands of pioneers such as the ancient Egyptians, since the 21st century there has been a flourishing in these technologies thanks to advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, computing and 3D printing.
Learning to walk again
For many of us, walking is something we do automatically and without any conscious thought. But an amputee needs to think about how they walk, especially on uneven surfaces or unfamiliar areas.
Each environment can pose different and sometimes dangerous challenges. It is one thing to walk alone on a smooth, unobstructed path; and quite another to circulate through the lobbies of an airport, with people walking at different speeds, stopping and resuming their march from any direction.
That is why learning to walk with leg prosthesis requires a previous conditioning treatment through physiotherapy, where it will focus on strengthening, achieving balance and resistance to the demand of the energy expenditure that will have to be used for prosthesis, among other factors.
The process consists of general physical preparation exercises and exercises to strengthen the muscles of the arms and legs. As soon as possible, the affected person will be encouraged to begin exercises with parallel bars to stand and balance.
The specific exercises prescribed will depend on factors such as the amputation of one or both legs and the extent of the amputation.
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