Are Prosthetic Covers Necessary?
More people take pride in their prosthetic limbs and are not afraid to show them off. But a question needs to be asked: are prosthetic covers necessary?
People embracing their prostheses is undoubtedly good news. When I started my career as a prosthetist in the late 90s, most of my patients chose to cover their prosthetic legs. At that time, bare prosthetic legs weren't the standard; covering and hiding the fact that one isn't wearing a prosthesis was the norm.
If someone chose to wear their prosthetic limbs without a cover, it was typically done out of convenience rather than a way to express their grit. As a prosthetist, I prefer leaving prosthetic legs uncovered because adjusting and realigning them is difficult with a cover. Unlike today's prosthetic covers, the old ones weren't removable. Because of this, many prosthetic covers were damaged due to repeated removal to access prosthetic components.
Today, more people are choosing to bare their prosthetic limbs and let the world know they have surpassed a great challenge. Prostheses are not seen as shameful but as sources of pride.
A purpose for prosthetic covers
However, I believe there is still a place for prosthetic covers in this empowered climate because people tend to feel different on a daily, sometimes even hourly, basis. Some days we care about how we look and want to stand out; on other days, we want to lay low.
This is where prosthetic covers from companies like Alleles and Socket Socks come in. Unlike other prosthetic covers, the ones from these two companies are easy to remove and interchangeable. It eliminates the need to set an appointment with your prosthetist to install a prosthetic cover. Furthermore, customers can purchase these covers directly from the company.
Socket Socks are great for everyday wear. Users can simply slip on the stretch fabric cover, changing their look in seconds. They offer below-knee socket covers, above-knee calf covers, below-knee sleeve covers, and below-knee symes covers. They also have lower arm covers for upper-limb amputees. Their products come in various fun prints and colors, which are also available for kids.
Image courtesy of Socket Socks
Meanwhile, Alleles offers a wide range of styles in different themes, from athletic to fantasy and nature to futurism. You will surely find an above- and below-knee prosthetic cover that suits your taste. The prosthetic covers are made from ABS plastic, proven to be durable, easy to clean, adaptable, flexible, and lightweight.
To put on an Alleles prosthetic cover, you simply need to fasten the two polyurethane straps with aluminum hooks around the prosthetic limb. This mechanism prevents the cover from rotating and sliding on the prosthetic limb.
Image courtesy of Alleles
Besides providing the user with the aesthetics they want, the other great thing about these easy-to-use prosthetic covers is they're easier to clean. Sockets Socks are washable, inexpensive, and therefore easy to replace, while Alleles' hard plastic covers can withstand daily external stressors.
The bottom line
As long as people continue to wear mass-produced clothing meant for symmetrical bodies, there will always be a need for prosthetic covers. Having one pant leg or shirt sleeve flapping in the wind is not a flattering look. Until the prosthetic industry begins designing prostheses that take the contours of the missing limb into account, prosthetic covers will remain relevant.