Learning to Walk with a Prosthetic Leg
The goal of rehabilitation training with your physiotherapist is to help you attain the largest possible degree of mobility and independence from your prosthetic leg, so that you don’t need much help in your everyday life.
Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to manufacture different prostheses for different requirements. The components selected for your prosthetic leg are therefore very important. Your training program is matched with these components. It is designed to teach you to use your prosthesis safely and to relearn everyday movements.
Walking on a level surface
Once you are secure in the general use of your prosthetic leg, you can begin with the actual walking exercises. This is about improving balance and coordination, sufficient weight transfer to the prosthesis side and about straightening the pelvis and upper body. In addition, you should continue strengthening your muscles, since strong muscles are an important prerequisite for a stable posture while walking.
First you will learn to shift your body weight between the parallel bars and to stand on one leg. Don’t put all the weight on your arms and your sound leg, but trust yourself to stand on your prosthesis as well. The first walking exercises in an open space follow as soon as you are able to walk between the parallel bars. The first goal is for you to reduce possibly required walking aids, bit by bit. You achieve this through a combination of the right walking technique and by strengthening the trunk muscles.
Care is taken to ensure that you avoid mistakes during all walking exercises. Initially your therapist will always be by your side to offer help. Bit by bit, you will not need this anymore.
Walking safely on ramps and stairs
You will come across many obstacles during your everyday, such as curbs, steps in the house, sloped surfaces at garage entrances, and so forth. Here, the components in your prosthesis are particularly important since different prosthetic knee joints require different walking techniques. Correct positioning of the foot or the use of the handrail, for example, play an important role.