Prosthetic Self Care Tips
Self Care Tips
how to care for your assistive devices on a daily basis
You are being given an experimental 3D printed assistive device. If you have any problems or concern, or require medical advice, please contact your doctor or Humanos3D.
An upper limb assistive device can improve functionality in some basic tasks like self-care and other daily activities, and can improve body image, but in no way is a substitute for a natural hand. It is designed to provide support, or improve aesthetics.
Self Care Tips
Limits to Prosthetic
- Do not use your assistive device when operating heavy machinery, tools or vehicles.
- Do not expose to temperatures over 49 degrees Celsius. A assistive device left in a car on a hot day may melt. Do not use assistive device to lift hot items such as a pot of boiling water, or when removing food from a microwave oven.
- Monitor your assistive device regularly for wear and tear. Contact Humanos3D for assistance replacing worn or broken parts.
- Clean your assistive device on the surface with warm water and a mild detergent.
Pressure sores can develop with assistive device wear, where your skin is irritated by constant contact with the assistive device. Any redness on your skin lasting longer than 20 minutes indicates a problem Keep in mind that heat and excessive sweat can increase risk of pressure sores. Inspect your skin daily and look for signs of skin breakdown, excessive and persistent redness and blisters. If any of these signs occur, contact Humanos3D to re-evaluate fit.
How to Wear your Prosthetic
- Wear for 15-30 minutes on the first day. Check skin every 15 minutes
- Gradually add 30 minute sessions as tolerated, up to 3 times a day
- The assistive device can normally be tolerated for an entire day after 1 week of use
Children using Prosthetic
- Supervise children at all times when they are learning to use the assistive device
- Wear assistive device for smaller periods of time initially: 5-15minutes
- The assistive device is not designed for weight bearing so rough or outdoor play with the assistive device should be closely monitored
- Help your child check their skin, and ask regularly about pain or overuse.
Pain and Swelling
If pain increases or changes with use of assistive device and does not decrease as you become accustomed to it, stop using it and contact Humanos3D or your doctor.
It is common for your residual limb to become swollen with use of a assistive device. If this happens, please speak with your doctor about advice on how to manage it.
Tips for Daily Activities
- Your assistive device should be used as a ‘helper’ to support or stabilise.
- It is important to think about how to position your assistive device before you attempt to complete a task.
- Remember to try all activities bimanually to avoid overuse injury.
Lifting and Carrying
Lifting is easiest at waist height. You will notice your assistive device pulling away or pressure on the Velcro if you are trying to lift something that is too heavy. Do not use the fingers of the assistive device to carry. If the palm of the assistive device is facing the ceiling you will find it easier.
Use assistive device to hold the toothpaste while you open it with your other hand. Use the assistive device to hold the toothbrush while you apply toothpaste. Most people prefer to brush with their non-assistive device hand.
Cooking and Eating
- Remember not to use your assistive device to hold hot objects.
- Use your assistive device to support. E.g hold the bowl with your assistive device arm while you stir with your sound arm. Use your assistive device to hold/support a jar while you twist the lid with your sound arm.
- To cut food: use the assistive device to support the food with a fork, while you cut with your sound arm.
Hold the dishes with your sound hand due to the limits of the grip strength of the assistive device. Use your assistive device for wiping and drying
Hold the broom in your sound hand and support the dustpan with your assistive device. Move your body with the broom as you sweep
- Most people find it easiest to put a shirt on before putting on your assistive device. Always put your residual limb into sleeves first.
- When pulling up pants, use your assistive device to stabilise the pants while you pull with your sound arm.
- Most people do not find a assistive device useful for pulling up socks due to the limits of grip strength
Use your assistive device arm to push clothing against your body while your sound arm manoeuvres the zipper or button.
- Start by putting your shoe on your foot.
- Cross the laces and complete the initial tuck under with one hand
- Make one loop on the assistive device side and pinch it down into the shoe at the top of the loop with the back of the assistive device hand, so the palm is facing upward.
- Make a loop on the other side with the dominant hand and pinch between two fingers- index finder and middle finger. With the ring finger and pinky finger, press up on the first loop.
- Pass the loop under the other loop, holding away from the end of the loop, so your fingers don’t cross over the first loop.
- Pull about ½ inch back on the second loop to create a space for the loop to pass through.
- Wrap the end of the second loop over the first loop and pull through the opening.
- Tighten the loop by pulling on the non-tail end of the second loop
Holding Objects like a Phone
Always place the object into your assistive device arm with your sound arm first.
You may find a rubber case for your phone useful.
Use your assistive device to hold the paper down and your sound arm to cut. You will need to re-position and rotate the paper often. See below for some practice shapes