Stump and Prosthesis Care

Stump and Prosthesis Care

Stump and Prosthesis Care will help you stay comfortable, active, and healthy.

When an arm or leg is removed, it is important to care for the artificial body part that replaces it (prosthesis) and for the remaining end of the arm or leg (stump). Caring for the stump and prosthesis

How to care for your stump

Cleaning your skin

  • Wash your stump with a mild antibacterial soap at least once each day.
  • Wash your stump after getting dirty or sweaty.
  • After washing your stump, pat it dry and let it air-dry for 5–10 minutes.
  • Do not soak your stump in a warm or hot bath for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Avoid shaving hair on the stump. Hair that grows out after being shaved is more easily irritated by the prosthesis.

Using skin care products

  • Apply ointment to your surgical scar if your health care provider told you to do so. This can keep the scar soft and help it heal.
  • Do not put creams and lotions on your stump unless directed by your health care provider. If your health care provider says it is okay to put creams and lotions on your stump, do not use lotions that contain petroleum jelly.
  • Do not use skin care products with an alcohol base. These products can be harmful to your skin. They can also damage the lining of the prosthesis.
  • Consider using an antiperspirant spray on the skin of the stump if you are prone to sweating.

Other instructions

  • Every day, look closely at the skin on your stump. Use a mirror with a long handle to check areas you cannot see, or ask a friend or family member to check those areas. Look for areas that appear reddish, swollen, or irritated. Pay extra attention to places where the stump and prosthesis rub together. Tell your health care provider if you have concerns.
  • Wear the elastic wrap on your stump as told by your health care provider. The wrap may become loose or your stump may swell when you are active. Rewrap the bandage every couple of hours as needed.

How to care for your prosthesis

Cleaning your prosthesis

  • Use hot water and antibacterial soap to wash your prosthesis.
  • Dry the prosthesis using a clean towel.

Attaching your prosthesis

  • Make sure your prosthesis is clean before you attach it to your stump. Clean and dry all the parts that touch your skin.
  • Wear socks or wraps under the prosthesis.
  • Attach your prosthesis to your stump. Be sure you understand how to attach it. A prosthetic specialist (prosthetist) can show you how to do this. It is a good idea to practice several times while he or she watches.

Other instructions

  • Exercise and move your prosthesis as told by your physical therapist.
  • Follow your health care provider’s instructions about the length of time you should wear your prosthesis. You may be instructed to:
    • Limit the amount of time you wear your prosthesis at first.
    • Increase the time you wear your prosthesis a little bit each day.

Where to find more information

Contact a health care provider if:

  • The prosthesis does not seem to fit correctly.
  • You have an itchy rash or a sore on your stump.
  • Sweating between the stump and the prosthesis is heavy, and efforts to control the sweating do not work.

Get help right away if:

  • Your stump is painful to the touch, or it is red, swollen, or hot.
  • A bad smell develops around the stump.
  • There is a sore on your stump that is not healing.
  • Your stump is colder than the upper part of your limb.
  • Skin on your stump turns gray or black.
  • There is drainage coming from your stump.

Summary

  • When an arm or leg is removed, it is important to care for the artificial body part that replaces it (prosthesis) and for the remaining end of the arm or leg (stump).
  • Wash your stump with a mild antibacterial soap at least once each day or if it gets dirty or sweaty. Then, pat it dry and let it air-dry for 5–10 minutes.
  • Follow your health care provider’s instructions on the use of skin care products on your stump.
  • Every day, closely check the skin on your stump. Look for areas that appear reddish, swollen, or irritated. Tell your health care provider if you have concerns.
  • Make sure your prosthesis is clean before you attach it to your stump. Clean and dry all the parts that touch your skin.
15585

Sign up to receive the trending updates and tons of Health Tips

Join SeekhealthZ and never miss the latest health information

15856