A Complete Guide To Prostheses: Prime Considerations, Components, Rehabilitation, And Emerging Technology



One of the most widespread misconceptions about prostheses is that they can never provide amputees with exact replica of human limbs. It is also believed that prosthetic limbs lead to bone degeneration when they are used for many years. This article provides a complete guide and helps in clearing misconceptions around prosthetic technology.

Prime considerations

A lot of considerations need to be taken into account before one gets prepared for prosthetic limbs. The first important consideration is the presence of soft tissue that can act as a cushion for the bone. There are also some amputees that complain of some instances of pain after the prosthetic leg has been successfully incorporated. In such cases, a holistic examination of the limb needs to be done in advance and certain modifications need to be incorporated. The dermatological considerations are also important and need to be taken into account before the prosthetic procedure takes place. The levels of synchronization between the two legs are extremely important and need to be taken into account. In this case, the prosthetic limb that needs to be incorporated can be suitably adjusted to align with the natural limb. Finally, the mobility of the amputee before and after the prosthetic procedure needs to be examined in proper detail. Generally, it takes some time for the amputee to get accustomed to the prosthetic part that has been surgically incorporated.


Generally speaking, a prosthetic limb consists of three important components. The first important component is the outer structure of the artificial limb. It is usually made up of silicone polymers or other flexible material that can cater to high levels of mobility. The second important component is the socket that helps in the attachment of the prosthetic component to the human body. The third important component is the suspension system that is also critical in determining the level of mobility and comfort of the amputee.


The incorporation of an artificial appendage does not set the amputee rapidly into motion. In fact, this is a time taking procedure and may require some amount of rehabilitation as well. Rehabilitation is important as it strengthens the muscles and enables the doctors to track your mobility levels. The replication of a healthy limb is a very challenging task and needs a dedicated team of experts that can customize an appendage in accordance with the needs of the patient. There are some of the challenges that the patient may face in the initial stage of the rehabilitation therapy. For instance, there may be excessive levels of sweating that may cause dermatological problems. If there is any weakness in the residual limb, it may prolong the rehabilitation procedure and even affect the mobility levels.

Emerging technology

Prosthetic devices have undergone rapid improvements in the last few years. Credit goes to various types of microprocessors in joints and intelligent sensors that have enabled amputees to easily walk on uneven surfaces. Prosthetic limbs are also equipped with intelligent devices and are made up of flexible polymer material. These have the advantage of allowing amputees to perform activities like running and swimming.

Another important modification that we have seen in prosthetic devices is the magnetic mode that can be switched on as per the needs of the user. This is especially suitable for gripping small objects that was not possible earlier.

In addition to this, we have also seen the development of osseointegration surgical procedures. The benefit of this procedure is the incorporation of an artificial appendage directly into the bone. This means that a socket is no longer required for the amputees. The sensory perception that osseointegration provides has also benefited a large number of amputees.

The way ahead

The research and development that is taking place in the prosthetic industry will be influenced by the levels of coordination that we are able to achieve between the engineering and the medical domains. This means that interdisciplinary research will need to be carried out to develop intelligent prosthetic devices powered by artificial intelligence and steered by medical considerations.

The effective coordination between rehabilitation science, medical research as well as engineering wings will allow us to fabricate super-intelligent prosthetic devices with the help of 3D printing. Inputs from machine learning, artificial intelligence, decision sciences, deep neural networks as well as polymer technology will be crucial for future breakthroughs in the domain of prostheses.