In sports, the right equipment, and even more so, the best fitting equipment, can make all of the difference in the world. You can have the best soccer cleats, the best sneakers, or the best skates, but if they are too loose, you will wobble and fall; and if they are too tight, you will be constrained from performing at your absolute best.
For amputees, the issue of fit has a far greater impact on their potential ability than the scenarios above. If the socket on your prosthetic limb is not perfectly fit for your body, and for your activity level and lifestyle, it can substantially impact your performance in sports and activities, and can even lead to injury.
Some of the issues faced by amputee athletes with ill-fitting prosthetic limbs include:
Discomfort & Irritation
Amputees who are very physically active are putting a tremendous amount of stress on their residual limb and socket. While less-active people may not notice much discomfort from a poor-fitting prosthesis, those who are running, skiing, biking, and competing in other activities may experience extreme discomfort and irritation, which may limit their level of activity, or at minimum, their enjoyment of it.
While it may not be immediately apparent, the additional energy a person has to use in order to overcompensate for an ill-fitting prosthesis by putting more pressure on their residual limb can be exhausting. And this fatigue can keep individuals from being able to participate to their best abilities in sports, or even to keep up with their teammates.
When you’re performing at your highest level, injuries are more likely to occur. And if your prosthetic limb does not support you perfectly, comfortably, and/or is not suitable for the activity you are performing, you could run the risk of it slipping away from you. If this were to occur while you were running, skating, skiing, or otherwise competing in a highly physical activity, it could cause serious injury.
If any of these scenarios are familiar to you, we encourage you to speak to a certified prosthetist about your activity levels, needs, and the issues you are experiencing. If you’d like to schedule a consult with one of our prosthetists, please contact us.
Want to see what you can accomplish with a well-fitting prosthesis? Check out this video: