How long does a prosthesis last? Carly W.
Thanks for your question! The answer is not as straightforward as six months, one year, or five years. Fabrication and integrity-wise of the prosthesis, it can last for several years. However, the question of whether it continues to fit well and is still appropriate for you is different!
People with limb loss can expect their limbs to change for several years after their amputation. This includes shape change, reduction in size, increase in size, and changes in skin quality/appearance. So, even if your prosthesis is still in good condition, it may not fit well and may not be able to be adjusted to fit properly. Continuing to use a prosthesis that does not fit well may put you at risk for skin breakdown, pain, or change how you walk. We anticipate that your residual limb will change more quickly soon after your amputation, and over time these changes should become less dramatic.
As your limb shape becomes more stable, you may not need a replacement prosthesis as frequently. Your preparatory (often first) prosthesis may last you anywhere from six months to a year, but there are certainly people who use it for a shorter or longer period of time, it simply depends on how you are progresssing and how your limb is changing.
If you are not sure if your prosthesis is fitting well, or is still appropriate for you, schedule an appointment with your prosthetist to discuss options.
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