FAQ: “My prosthesis is too heavy!”

Why is my prosthesis so heavy?

The type of prosthesis, prosthetic foot, components and fabrication materials contribute to the final weight of a prosthesis. If you consider just the prosthetic foot alone, the weight of different prosthetic feet can range from several ounces to several pounds!
If you consider the prosthetic socket, those fabricated with copolymer plastics are lighter than those fabricated with laminates or resins. Some companies approach patients with an assembly line mentality of bolt the foot to the pylon, then bolt the pylon to the socket etc.. While this approach may produce a wearable prosthesis often times it leaves the patient frustrated trying to manage a heavy artificial limb.

What are the benefits of a lighter prosthesis?

The trend in most athletic gear, equipment and clothing is lighter is better. From running shoes to mountain bikes, fabrication techniques reflect an effort to reduce the weight of these products. The primary reasons for weight reduction is to maximize energy efficiency of the athlete and to minimize fatigue. The lighter the device the better the performance and the greater the overall outcome. The same can be said in prosthetics. A lighter prosthesis improves energy efficiency and reduces fatigue of the wearer. Clients often tell us that with a lighter artificial limb they can not only engage in higher levels of activity but they can enjoy them for longer durations.

Are there other benefits of lighter prosthetic limbs?

Yes. The improved suspension that is often associated with lighter prostheses minimizes/eliminates shear forces and pressures on the residual limb. Lighter artificial legs can contribute to much better socket fits, and greater socket comfort. In addition, our experience has shown that lighter artificial limbs respond instantly when engaged, as in walking. We often hear patient complaints that their heavier limbs lag behind, and they feel as though the prosthesis is slowing them down.

How is Rothschild’s Orthopedics different?

For the past twenty five years our primary focus has been on prosthetic weight reduction. We are pioneers in lightweight prosthetics and orthotics. We utilize unique and patented fabrication techniques that result in the lightest artificial limbs possible for our clients. We incorporate lightweight copolymer plastics in our sockets, shank designs and attachment components. Every patient is evaluated individually and we fabricate a prosthesis that is unique to them based on parameters such as a patients age, activity level and occupation.

I live out of state/overseas can I come to Rothschild’s Orthopedics?

Yes. We see many patients from out of state and have developed a one week fabrication turn around time. More information can be found by clicking here. Information for Out of State and Overseas Patients