How to Learn to Walk with a Prosthetic Leg

Learn To Walk With Prosthetic Leg

Learning to walk with a prosthetic leg can be a daunting thing to consider. It will take some time to master the skill, but you are completely capable of it! Discover how to prepare for the task, tips for success, and ways to make the experience as comfortable as possible in this article.

Fit Comes First

Learning to walk with a prosthetic leg varies depending on whether you had an above the knee or below the knee amputation. Generally, people who have had a below the knee amputation retain more stability while those who have had an above the knee amputation will have to work to regain stability. This is because the knee joint is removed during the amputation and the prosthetic device will have its own prosthetic knee joint.

The most important factor to learning to walk with your prosthetic device is fit. Your device will be designed to fit your residual limb and the socket, where the prosthesis and your residual limb meets. You will first be fit for a temporary prosthesis as the swelling of your residual limb goes down. Talk to your prosthetist about your lifestyle and goals. They will want to know in what capacity you’ll use your device so they can create one that suits your needs.

Weight Bearing and Gait Training

The first task will be learning how to properly shift your weight while using the device. You may feel apprehensive about bearing weight on your device. Your physical therapist will work with you to literally get your bearings and help you feel more comfortable with the device through gait training. It takes a bit of time to gain the confidence so be patient with yourself as you learn.

While your gait training will vary based on your personal needs and the type of device you use, you can expect to start with two parallel bars. You’ll use your arms to support you as you practice taking steps. As you progress, you’ll move on to walking with only one arm on the bar for support and then without the bars completely. For best results, practice consistently and slowly. You may find yourself getting more tired than you did before your amputation. It takes more energy to walk with a device so take breaks as needed or as your physical therapist suggests.

At Metro Prosthetics, we’ll ensure that your prosthetic device fits you and your lifestyle perfectly. Take the next step by reaching out to us today: