Suggested Wear Schedule for a New Prosthesis
by Amber Henson, on Nov 9, 2020
Your new upper extremity prosthesis was custom designed for maximum functionality while also providing comfort and durability. People are often so excited about their new prosthesis that they immediately want to start wearing it all day long. Keep in mind that it takes a little time for your residual limb, your skin and the rest of your body to adjust to wearing a prosthesis — even when your device has an ultra-comfortable silicone socket. For best results follow the schedule that is outlined below. At the end of each wearing period, check your skin for redness or irritation. If areas of irritation do not disappear within 20 minutes, reduce your wearing time and schedule an appointment with your prosthetist.
|Day of Wear||Wear Period One||Wear Period Two||Wear Period Three||Total Hours Worn|
|Day one||30 min||30 min||30 min||1 hr 30 min|
|Day two||45 min||45 min||45 min||2 hrs 15 min|
|Day three||1 hr||1 hr||1 hr||3 hrs|
|Day four||1 hr 30 min||1 hr 30 min||1 hr 30 min||4 hrs 30 min|
|Day five||2 hrs||2 hrs||2 hrs||6 hrs|
|Day six||2 hrs 30 min||2 hrs 30 min||2 hrs 30 min||7 hrs 30 min|
|Day seven*||N/A||N/A||N/A||8+ hrs|
*On day seven you can start to wear your prosthesis continuously as long as your skin has tolerated the daily increase in wearing time.
Be sure to take care of your residual limb every day, clean your prosthetic device each day, and know all of the do’s and don’ts of prosthesis care both as you start with your wear schedule, and continue that care throughout the use of your device.
It is also understandable that you may not stick to the above wear schedule exactly. Sometimes you might get home from a long day of work and you’re supposed to put your arm on for another say, two hours that evening. But maybe your heart just isn’t in it — all you want to do is lie down and watch some TV. In that case, just extend your initial wear schedule a little longer — so repeat the day that you just did so that, eventually, your “day seven” looks like your “day six.” The point of the wear schedule is to ease you into wearing your device, so as long as you are tempering your excitement to wear your device all the time, you should be okay.
It's worth noting that you should not fall asleep with your prosthetic device on. Your residual limb needs a break every day.
In addition, please note that the above schedule is simply a suggestion. Your prosthetist and/or therapist may give you a schedule that is specific to you. Some prostheses, such as activity-specific devices, are designed for specific tasks and therefore don’t typically follow a wear schedule like the one above. Slowly grading tolerance to wear is still appropriate and your therapist and prosthetist can help guide them on a plan — but it’s unlikely you'll be wearing that type of device a full day.
Please be sure to report any issues you have, or if you are still feeling that your residual limb isn’t “up to” wearing your prosthesis.
Would you like to be able to wear a prosthetic device full-time? Or are you unable to wear your current device full-time because you find it painful or irritating? In either case, please contact us — we have helped many people get their first prosthetic device, or helped re-fit patients who received their prosthesis from other companies. If you are a pro at wearing your prosthetic device, and have some tips to share with prosthetic newbies, please comment below.
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