Australians love water. There is no doubt about that: we are quite literally surrounded by it! If you look at the top our website one of the things you’ll find written is, “Advanced Function, Advanced Lifestyle” – these are important things to us. It is no surprise then, that we have been providing aquatic prostheses to Australian amputees for a number of years now. We want to enhance your lives as much as possible. I have seen, and made, aquatic prostheses for almost every level of amputation (with the exception of hip disarticulation).
When you are considering an aquatic prosthesis (wet leg), there are a few main questions you need to answer:
Which Foot/Ankle to use?
If you want to shower in the prosthesis, going to and from the pool, or wading in water; there are two main options:
Water proof SACH foot: a simpler foot. Some below knee amputees like this option for the cosmetic benefits as it allows the fibreglass to continue seamlessly (in a leg shape) down to the foot.
Aquatic prosthesis with SACH foot (comes in any colour/design!)
Corrosive resistant Carbon fibre feet: Allows for a more natural gait pattern for walking to and from the water. Also allows movement at the ankle – vital for certain water sports eg. Surfing etc.
Adjustable ankle carbon fibre foot ‘pointed’ ready for swimming
IF you are wanting to swim using the prosthesis, you can use adjustable ankle/foot combinations: these allow for a pointed toe during swimming and a ‘90°’ ankle position for walking.
Which Knee to use?
Most aquatic knees are either locked or lockable, to prevent the knee from bending in water. There are some higher functioning knees for use in water sports. This can be discussed in more detail with your Prosthetist.
Aquatic prosthesis using a waterproof knee joint
There are a myriad of ways to ‘hold a prosthesis on’.
To keep it simple: most suspension types can be ‘water proofed’ and (if possible) used in conjunction with a suspension sleeve. The suspension sleeve is generally made from silicone and serves the purpose of suspending the prosthesis, and keeping water out of the socket.
Which terminal device?
For the upper limb amputee, there are a number of different terminal devices that have been developed for almost every activity you can think of. If it doesn’t suit you, our team can probably custom make something for you anyway!
Custom surfing arm
After all those questions are answered, the only thing left to decide is which colour/design you want applied to the laminate!
Next time you are chatting with your prosthetist – you might want to ask about an aquatic prosthesis (wet leg).
Have a great holiday!
APC Prosthetics (Hunter)