Misconceptions about Amputees
Advanced Prosthetic’s Research works with amputees of all ages, genders, social and economic levels, and activity levels. We believe every patient is unique and approach our treatment plan accordingly. Our prosthetists are dedicated to working with each patient to design quality prosthesis specifically to help that patient meet his/her goals and dreams. Our prosthetists listen to our client’s desires and concerns and work with them to help them get back to living a normal life.
Many of our clients come to us after unsatisfactory treatment from other providers or facilities. We also get many of our clients following some traumatic incident such as a motorcycle crash or act of war, and finally, others come to us because of a limb loss due to cancer, birth defect, or a disease such as diabetes.
In this article, we want to address some common misconceptions that people have about amputees, including what many recent amputees have about their own future.
Misconception: Amputees don’t want you to ask about our prosthesis
While it’s certainly not polite to stare or to ask too many questions of a stranger with a prosthetic limb, we’ve found that more often than not many amputees proudly wear their prosthesis with the equipment showing and are happy to answer a few questions about how it works. Talking about their prosthesis is a personal choice, so proceed slowly at first. Be guided by how the amputee responds and their willingness to talk to you about their equipment.
Misconception: Amputees can’t swim, bike, snowboard, ski, or dance anymore
This has never been the case, but thanks to celebrities such as Amy Purdy (Dancing with the Stars 2014) and scores of other celebrities, this misconception is rapidly fading away. Not only can amputees still do all of these things, many can leave their able-bodied competitors in the dust!
Misconception: Amputees must have been involved in a traumatic accident
While stories of limb loss during combat always make big headlines – the reality is that most amputations are the result of diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Misconception: Amputees will never walk normally again
If you’ve seen amputees limping, leaning to one side, or shuffling their feet, you may have wondered if that was a common lifelong issue for someone who had lost one or both of their legs. This is one of those situations where it’s critical to find a prosthetist who is experienced and communicates effectively with you – such as prosthetist at Advanced Prosthetic Research. Most amputees should be able to walk more normally once we’ve had time to adjust to the prostheses. A well-fitting prosthesis combined with proper treatment is crucial in ensuring that an amputee reaches his or her full potential.
Misconception: Amputees can’t return to work
While some amputees may find it difficult to adjust to work, or may find it physically improbable to resume a certain career where physically activity is a prime criteria (such as construction), most are able to return to work after a period of healing. This is as important for the good of the heart and mind as it is for their wellbeing. Some amputees are drawn to a completely new career as a result, such as working as a prosthetist, counselor, adaptive sports coach, or any number of careers where the prosthesis becomes an asset for a particular job.