With the growing number of advancements in prosthetic technology, maintaining a productive lifestyle after losing a limb is not as detrimental as it once was. Knowing this, let’s debunk five misconceptions surrounding the world of prosthetics and the patients who use them daily.
This myth is so comical it almost makes us laugh. Although getting through a weightlifting session or moving on the field may be different than it was before losing a limb, it’s not impossible to stay competitive and effective.
To put it bluntly, the only factor that could limit a post-amputee patient from succeeding in a physical sport or activity is listening to those saying they can’t do it. In reality, their power and drive are immeasurable and motivational!
2. Driving Safely
One may think that driving an automobile effectively without a limb would be challenging or tip-toeing the lines of legality, but the opposite is true. The United States Department of Transportation makes it legal for individuals who require prosthetic technologies to operate their vehicle to the best of their ability.
In some cases, the patient may need to install modifications that make the drive easier to manage, but this shouldn’t be a problem.
3. Don’t Ask Questions
For readers who have not interacted with a patient who relies on prosthetic technologies after losing a limb may find it awkward or confusing when conversing with them, but it doesn’t have to be this way!
Many individuals wear their prostheses as a badge of honor or a gentle reminder of what they’ve dealt with in the past. However, each patient is unique, and you should always respect their boundaries, but if they’re open to discussing it, don’t shy away!
4. Prostheses Are All the Same
For those of us within the industry of emerging prosthetic technologies, this misconception makes us confused. We could quickly dispel this myth by discussing emerging limb prostheses that utilize neural connections that mimic natural limb function, but we’ll list advancements that make life easier for amputees instead.
- Neuromusculoskeletal prostheses
- 3D-printed limbs
- Bionic arms
- Customizable designs that showcase underlying hardware
As you can see, these technologies accurately replicate the natural movement of biological limbs and digits.
5. Amputees Are Always Depressed
A damaging stigma surrounding the world of amputee patients is the belief that they’re depressed, anxiety-ridden and embarrassed after losing a limb. To debunk this, let’s ask someone who uses a prosthesis daily.
Mickey Delsman, an amputee who lost a leg from a bone cancer diagnosis, discussed his life post prosthesis. Although his lifestyle has its downsides — phantom limb pain, fatigue and not being able to swim — it doesn’t deter him from keeping his sense of humor. “One time, my friends and I took my fake leg to a hotel’s reception desk to tell them it had come up from the sewer into our toilet.”
Amputee patients are just like us: some days, they’re sad and don’t want to get out of bed, and other days they feel like running a marathon.